Experienced Nashville Defense Firm

You Can Question the Accuracy of Field Sobriety Tests

Being pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence can be a disconcerting experience. Police officers will often put a driver through field sobriety tests. The tests that are used were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and people here in Tennessee and elsewhere are often given the impression that they are infallible. However, that could not be farther from the truth.

The tests are subjective, and some people would not be able to pass them even if they had not had one drink. Research shows that certain sober people tend to fail these tests. People who are over the age of 65, more than 50 pounds overweight and those who have problems with their knees, ankles or backs tend to have difficulty with the tests. Furthermore, a driver who is wearing high heels (three inches and up) could easily have issues.

The other factor that can make these tests unreliable is the officer giving them. If a police officer fails to properly administer the tests, any alleged results might not be admissible in court. This could mean that the charges would be dismissed if it turns out that the tests were not appropriate for the driver.

Taking all of these factors into consideration illustrates that just because you fail one or more field sobriety tests, that does not mean you are guilty of driving under the influence. One of your attorney's primary objectives will often be to challenge these tests. Therefore, it would be advantageous if the Tennessee attorney you choose to represent you is familiar with the tests and understands why they can be unreliable.