If the police stop you when driving, and believe you have been drinking or taking drugs, they may ask you to undertake field sobriety tests. It is essential to know that you may fail them, even if you have not had a drink or taken drugs.
The officers must ask you if there is any reason you might fail the test, and they must note this down. It may be easier to convince a judge if you gave these reasons to the police at a time, rather than thought them up afterward.
These are some reasons innocent people fail field sobriety tests:
- A disability: Your body may not permit you to walk straight, or your eye may behave differently.
- Inner ear problems: Your inner ear controls your balance. If you have an ear infection, you may have less stability than usual.
- Your physical condition: Standing on one leg is easy if you are a tightrope walker. If you are overweight and out of shape, it may be impossible any day of the week.
- Language problems: If English is not your first language, and a police officer barks a set of orders, you may get things wrong because you do not understand.
- Nerves: Standing on one leg on your yoga mat is one thing. Doing it when someone is watching you is another.
- Tiredness: You’ve just come off a double shift, your body and mind are exhausted. All you want to do is slump into your bed. Remembering your name is hard enough, let alone walking a straight line.
- The tests are not objective: The police officer tells you to do something and decides a result based upon their perception of your behavior. Police, like other humans, are not impartial. If they ask you to do the test, they are likely starting with the presumption that you will fail. If they find you attractive or likable, they may judge you differently than if they do not like you. Every human does this.
- Medication: Maybe you are taking prescription medication, which affects how you respond to these tests.
If charged with DUI because you failed the field sobriety test, seek legal help. These tests are not infallible.