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Can you challenge a field sobriety test?

Being charged with drunk driving in Missouri is a serious offense. It can result in the suspension or permanent revocation of your license. There may also be fines that can seriously impact your ability to meet your other needs, along with the possibility of jail time and criminal convictions. However, there are legitimate means to challenge the results of a field sobriety test.


The test was not performed correctly


If you are facing DWI charges, you may benefit by claiming that the test was performed incorrectly. For example, you can argue that the officer failed to perform all of the various parts of the test in the way that state law has laid out. You may claim that you were given the tests out of order, with incomplete instructions, were given non-standardized tests, or in too rushed a manner.


Some individuals may be asked to recite the alphabet backward or touch their fingers to their noses. They may also be given other forms of testing that may not be strictly mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can challenge the validity of the results by pointing out that the agency does not officially recognize them.


Studies have shown that even when performed correctly the tests are not always reliable. This even includes some of the tests that are mandated by the NHTSA. Some experts have pointed out that these tests are only between 81% and 91% reliable when it comes to determining your real level of intoxication.


Your physical or mental condition was ignored


Many people have been given a breath test or a field sobriety test at a time when their bodies were least prepared for it. You may be suffering from the results of a neurological condition that mimics the results of intoxication. You could have explained this to the officer only to find that they insisted on giving you the test anyhow.


Other conditions, such as skeletal or movement disorders and inner ear infections, can cause a false positive on tests. The breathalyzers used in testing are also not always accurate and require strict maintenance within specific guidelines. This is evidence you are entitled to bring to the court’s attention as a defense against DWI charges.

Posted in DWI