Yes. Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) are not reliable indicators of intoxication. And they are not meant to be proof in a court case—they were devised purely to help officers make a judgment in the field about whether a person is drunk or not. Unfortunately, they often make their way into court cases anyway, especially in officer testimony. Officers will make statements like, “He was stumbling and couldn’t keep his balance,” or “She failed the field sobriety tests.” This is a subjective call on the part of the officer and should be challenged.
The validity of FST’s can be challenged on several grounds:
- You were nervous. It’s normal to be nervous when pulled over by police. Some people will shake. This affects your balance and can be mistaken for intoxication or drug use by police.
- The officer is biased. If police saw your car swerve, they might decide early on that you must be drunk. Then they will jump to conclusions during FST’s. In past cases, video evidence has shown that a suspect was not stumbling, but officers said they were.
- Other factors at play. If you are tired, sick, or overweight you may have a difficult time performing FST’s even when you’re sober.
A DUI defense lawyer will know how to challenge FST’s and officer testimony. They can review statements for inconsistencies, find evidence of alternate causes, or subpoena video evidence that may prove the officers’ memory wrong. We’re happy to connect you with an experiences Los Angeles DUI lawyer who will give you a FREE case consultation and help you get started. Fill out the form to the right and get your free consultation today.