Rick Davis & Associates
Should You Challenge Sobriety Test Results?
Regardless of how you got here, now you’re facing criminal charges for driving under the influence. The officer who arrested you determined that you were under the influence using either field sobriety tests or a device like a breathalyzer. If you think you’re out of options to build a strong legal defense, think again — you may have more ways to defend yourself that you realize.
Sobriety tests are not magically accurate. Each test that officers use to determine insobriety has flaws and weaknesses that you should examine closely. Should you find grounds to challenge the validity of the results, a judge may throw out the charges altogether.
In almost all cases, fighting DUI charges is easier and more effective with the guidance of an experienced DUI defense attorney who understands the local justice system. Proper legal guidance ensures that your future and rights remain protected, and can help you avoid harming your case with what you don’t know.
Did the officer administer the test properly?
Each test’s validity depends on an officer administering it correctly. If the officer does not follow proper procedures when administering the test, the results are automatically compromised. If, for instance, an officer asks you to perform a field sobriety test in unfair conditions, then the results are not accurate. This might mean the officer did not fully explain the terms of the test, or did not account for other elements that may effect the results, like uneven or wet pavement.
Even if the officer does properly administer the test, you may challenge the results based on the tests’ overall dependability. Some studies suggest that field sobriety tests are only accurate about four out of five times.
In some cases, an arresting officer may also violate your rights in the course of the interaction. If an officer does violate your rights during the stop, a judge may dismiss the charges.
Can I challenge breathalyzer results?
Breathalyzer results are generally more reliable than field sobriety tests like the walk-and-turn. However, they are not perfect. In order to produce reliable results, the device itself must undergo regular maintenance and calibration.
You may examine the details of your arrest and find reasons to believe that the breathalyzer device was either improperly maintained and calibrated, or that the officer did not properly operate the device.
Don’t gamble with your future
Your future is worth defending, regardless of the reasons for your arrest. Don’t waste time and opportunity by waiting to build your defense. Be sure to seek out the help you need to protect your rights and your priorities.
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