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Can You Challenge A Field Sobriety Test?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | DUI Defense

Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are commonly used by law enforcement in Louisiana to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, these tests can be subjective and prone to error, leading to false positive results.

Questioning The Validity Of The Test

The accuracy of FSTs to detect a DUI is dependent on several factors such as the environment in which they are performed, the conditions of the test and the training of the officer administering the test. If these factors are not ideal, it can lead to inaccurate results. For example, a test on an uneven or slippery surface can result in a false positive.

Bias Of The Officer

The subjective nature of field sobriety tests also leaves room for officer bias. An officer who has a preconceived notion that the individual is under the influence may interpret the results of the test differently from an unbiased officer.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can also affect an individual’s ability to perform the FSTs accurately. For example, an individual with a knee or balance problem may struggle with the one-leg stand test, leading to a false positive result.

Improper Administration Of The Test

FSTs must be administered correctly to produce accurate results. If the officer deviates from the standard procedure, it can result in a false positive. For example, if the officer doesn’t allow enough time for the individual to complete the test or doesn’t provide clear instructions, it can affect the accuracy of the results.

Improper Calibration Of Equipment

If the equipment used to measure an individual’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is not calibrated correctly, it can lead to false results. An individual can challenge the results of a breathalyzer test by questioning the accuracy of the equipment used.

Field Sobriety Tests Can Be Challenged

Challenging the results of field sobriety tests can be a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the tests and the factors affecting their accuracy. Individuals who have been charged with a DUI based on FST results should consider seeking the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney who can help them build a strong defense.