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The Flawed Science of Field Sobriety Tests

DuPage County DUI defense lawyerAlmost everyone has seen, heard of, or experienced a field sobriety test. However, few people realize that these tests are based upon flawed science. In fact, one news source found that passing a field sobriety test is difficult, even when one is sober. Add in the stress, anxiety, and fear of actually having to go through it, and you have a recipe for a wrongful DUI conviction. Learn more about the flawed science of field sobriety tests, and how you can fight back against your DUI charge, with help from the following.

News Team Asks Sober Mall Goers to Complete Test

In 2013, NBC News stopped three people in a local mall and asked them to complete the field sobriety test. All three of them failed at least one portion. Balance issues and sleep deprivation were said to be some of the reasons that these folks struggled, but the truth is that these tests are far more difficult to pass than one might expect.

Inaccuracy Abounds

Not only are the tests difficult to pass, even while sober, they are less accurate at testing intoxication than officers might lead you to believe. For example, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test only has a 77 percent accuracy. Other tests, such as the one-leg stand and walk-and-turn test are even less accurate (65 percent and 68 percent, respectively). Illnesses, medical conditions, and other situations can throw that accuracy even further off the mark.

Health Conditions and Illnesses

While the argument that health conditions lead to a failed sobriety test typically require a doctor’s diagnosis, it is an issue that does arise far more often than most realize. One man, pulled over while suffering from low blood sugar, was charged with a DUI. Officers did not realize that the slurred speech and slow, jerky eye movements were not a sign of intoxication, but a serious and life-threatening health condition. The man was thankfully acquitted of his charges, but he suffered ill effects, nonetheless.

You Do Have Rights

While you do have the right to decline the field sobriety test, officers will lead you to believe you do not have a choice. If you have been charged and have the supposed evidence of a field sobriety test in your case, fight back. Contact Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, for immediate assistance. We will protect your right and fight aggressively to help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more by scheduling a consultation with our DuPage County DUI defense lawyer. Call us at 630-260-9647 today.

Sources:

https://works.bepress.com/patrick_corbus/2/

http://www.nbc29.com/story/23957865/passing-a-field-sobriety-test-difficult-drunk-or-sober

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