When drivers in Ocean City are subjected to a traffic stop to investigate a potential DUI, law enforcement will frequently use field sobriety tests. Although there might be a perception that these tests are accurate, that is not always so.
How can the results of field sobriety tests be called into question?
Law enforcement is trained to analyze how a driver performs on the tests. Still, there are ways to call the results into question and effectively fight the charges.
The three tests officers can give are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, where they move an object back and forth and watch the driver’s eyes; the walk and turn test; and the one-leg stand test.
One reason to challenge the tests is if the officer did not conduct them as required. Some guidelines must be followed. In some cases, the officer will add tests that are not supposed to be part of the process, like asking a driver to touch a finger to the nose.
Some drivers are having a medical episode or are suffering from a condition that prevents them from completing these tests as instructed. If they are not given the tests on a smooth road, the officer fails to adhere to protocol, or there is another obstacle, a driver could be charged with a DUI when the evidence does not support it.
Field sobriety tests should not be automatically accepted as valid
DUI convictions can cost a person their driver’s license, result in jail time, include fines and be viewed as a negative personally and professionally. Statistically, these tests are far from infallible. Estimates say that it could be as low as 81 percent accurate. With that, it is important to consider the options in challenging them.