When you are pulled over for a DUI, the police will often have you perform a field sobriety test to confirm whether you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you fail the test, you can be charged with a DUI. The problem is, the test isn't always an accurate measure of whether a person is sober or not. If you were charged with a DUI solely on the basis of a failed sobriety test, here are two ways to challenge the results.
Show You Have a Relevant Medical Condition
One way you can invalidate the results of a field sobriety test is to show you have a medical condition that negatively affected your ability to perform the physical tasks well enough to pass. For instance, the One-Leg Stand is a popular method police use to determine whether someone is sober. If you have an inner-ear problem, however, that can make it difficult for you to maintain your balance when standing on one leg and lead you to fail the test, resulting in a DUI arrest.
To use this defense, you'll need to submit medical reports from a qualified healthcare provider backing up your claims. If the condition you suffer from is not well known, you may need to have a medical expert testify (in court or in writing) about what the condition is and how it affects your ability to perform roadside sobriety tests. It's best to discuss this issue with your attorney who will help you obtain the paperwork necessary to successfully use this defense.
Challenge the Admissibility of Results
To be admissible in court, field sobriety tests must be performed in a specific way according to established guidelines. If the officer deviates from these guidelines, the results he or she receives may be considered tainted and not allowed to be used as evidence against you.
For instance, the Walk and Turn test must be performed on a level surface that's free from debris that could affect the results. If the police have you perform this test in an area where there are lots of rocks or on a piece of road that slopes downward, you could challenge the results based on the fact the police didn't follow proper protocols to ensure the test was fair.
An attorney can help you research the appropriate laws and procedures to determine if the cops did their jobs properly and get the result thrown out if they didn't.
For more information about this issue or help with your DUI case, contact a criminal defense attorney such as those at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC..