challenge field sobriety test

Being charged with a DUI can be stressful, and many of those charges result from field sobriety tests conducted on the road. Though these tests are designed to catch people driving when they shouldn’t be, they’re not foolproof or completely accurate all the time. Your South Carolina DUI defense lawyer can help you challenge the results of the field sobriety test that got you in trouble with the law. Here are a few ways you may be able to challenge the results.

You Can Question the Officer’s Administration of the Test

Law enforcement officers are trained to perform field sobriety tests according to the law. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make mistakes. Both new and more senior officers can end up slipping up during the administration if they’re rushed or if they simply forget a step.

Those mistakes can result in inaccurate test results that could result in a DUI charge even when you’re well below the legal limit. If you suspect that the officer administering the test skipped a step or made any other type of mistake, let your attorney know immediately. These mistakes could be enough to get your charges dismissed. Even better, your challenge could result in increased scrutiny for the officers involved, reducing the risk of improper administration having a negative impact on other drivers in the future.

You Can Argue That You Received Poor Instructions

Police are required to give you adequate instructions prior to performing each step of the field sobriety test. These instructions should give you enough information to perform the tests properly and should explain what you need to do to pass each stage of the test. If the instructions were unclear or missing entirely, you may not have the information you need to pass, resulting in unfair charges. 

If you were given poor instructions or didn’t receive instructions at all, let your attorney know as soon as possible. They’ll be able to review your case and argue that the missing instructions call into question whether your charges are legitimate.

You May Be Able to Argue That the Weather Played a Role

The requirements to pass a field sobriety test are designed for ideal conditions. That means fair weather, even terrain, and normal traffic conditions. If you were stopped during inclement weather or asked to perform the field sobriety test on poorly maintained or uneven roads, you may be able to call the results of the test into question.

Heavy rains, winds, or other inclement weather conditions can impact your ability to pay attention, to see clearly, and even to balance during portions of the test. And uneven road conditions can cause even completely sober people to struggle through the field sobriety test. Let your attorney know about the conditions you faced during your test.

You May Be Able to Show That the Stop Was Illegal

Police officers are not permitted to perform field sobriety tests without reasonable suspicion that the driver was impaired. If they pulled you over without a clear and justifiable cause, you may be able to argue that the stop was conducted illegally. If the court agrees, the charges against you will be dropped. 

Keep in mind that proving the traffic stop was illegal can be complicated. You’ll want to work with your defense attorney to argue your case. 

Contact Truslow & Truslow

Challenging the results of a field sobriety test is possible, but it’s always easier to do when you have an experienced South Carolina DUI defense attorney on your side. At Truslow & Truslow, our team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see if challenging the results of your field sobriety test is possible and what other defenses you may have.