If you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the officer may eventually decide to put you through a variety of field sobriety tests. While you assume that the officer knows what they are doing, don't be so sure of it.
It's common for police officers to make mistakes when conducting a field sobriety test, which can lead to inaccurate results.
Here is an example of a common mistake associated with each of the three field sobriety tests:
- One leg stand: As the name implies, you're asked to balance on one leg for an extended period of time. It's not nearly as accurate as police make it out to be, as even a sober individual can find it difficult. This is even more so the case in less than ideal conditions, such as if it's late at night or you're standing on sloped ground.
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus: Police officers are trained to watch an individual's eyes as they attempt to follow their finger. In the event of impairment, the eyes often move involuntarily. However, there's a lot that goes into administering an accurate test, such as moving the finger in the right direction and at the right speed. For instance, if the officer's finger is too close to your face, you may show signs of nystagmus, despite the fact that you're sober.
- Walk and turn: You're asked to walk heel to toe, turn and then do the same back toward the officer. They want to see if you're able to do so while maintaining your balance. Mistakes can include unclear instructions and asking you to perform the test in shoes that make it a challenge.
Even though police officers are trained at conducting field sobriety tests, it doesn't mean that they never make mistakes. In fact, if you pay close attention to everything that's happening, you may soon realize that the officer is doing something that works against you.
Keep track of all potential mistakes in your mind, as these may come in handy when your day in court arrives. You can use them to your advantage as you devise a DUI defense strategy that's meant to help prevent a conviction.