A field sobriety test can sometimes lead to a drunk driving charge which makes it is essential for accused drivers to know how to challenge a field sobriety test. There are different methods of challenging a field sobriety test each of which accused drivers facing drunk driving charges that resulted from a field sobriety test they allegedly failed should be familiar with.
The accused driver may want to generally attack the reliability of field sobriety tests which studies have shown, even when conducted correctly, are only 81% to 91% reliable at determining intoxication. There are generally three types of field sobriety tests that authorities may administer to a driver including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test; walk and turn test; and one-leg stand test.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides guidelines for how a field sobriety test should be conducted and if one is not conducted according to the police officer's training, or if the police officer has not had appropriate training to conduct a field sobriety test correctly, it may be possible to challenge the field sobriety test and its reliability on that basis. The police officer conducting the field sobriety test must also take into account the physical and mental condition of the accused driver to ensure reliability of the test results and if they fail to do so, may open them up to another challenge of the field sobriety test results.
Drunk driving charges can result in serious penalties and consequences for accused individuals including jail time, fines and driver's license suspension. As a result, drivers accused of driving under the influence will want to know how they can challenge a field sobriety test and the charges they are facing.