Not All Field Sobriety Tests Are Properly Administered

Field sobriety tests are roadside assessments that Colorado law enforcement officers can use to look for evidence of intoxication in drivers. The tests usually involve three different evaluations that push the limits of drivers’ balance, coordination, and focus. If a driver cannot complete the assessments then they may be arrested for drunk driving.

The single leg stand and walk and turn assessments test drivers’ capacities to hold themselves still or walk in a straight line. Both of these tests can be affected by the natural surroundings of the location where they are administered; for example, a sober driver may struggle to hold their balance on one leg if the ground they are standing on is sloped. If a law enforcement officer does not properly administer them, they may get a false reading of intoxication.

Similarly, the side gaze nystagmus assessment looks for rapid eye movement in a driver’s vision when they gaze in one sideways direction. This assessment may be affected by any medications that a driver is prescribed to take, exhaustion, and other factors. Because other influences may be at work when a driver is subjected to field sobriety testing, they may have defenses to the results of their assessments.

Drunk driving is a serious matter and DUI charges can change the course of a Colorado resident’s life. When drivers suspect that the outcomes of their field sobriety tests are erroneous, they should consult with legal advisors. Criminal defense and DUI defense attorneys can provide men and women in these difficult situations with information and guidance so that they can fight the legal charges that have been brought against them.


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