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4 instances when you can call a sobriety test into question

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | DUI Defense

A police officer can perform a series of sobriety tests if they suspect you are intoxicated. When done correctly, these tests are supposed to show the level of impairment and find probable cause for suspicion of drunk driving.

However, the results of a sobriety test can be called into question under the following circumstances:

1. Poor Breathalyzer calibration

When you blow into a Breathalyzer, you trust that the device will give accurate results. However, if the Breathalyzer is poorly maintained and fails, the results can be called into question. Like any other machine, the device needs inspection and proper maintenance to guarantee its functionality. Moreover, the police officer using the device must be appropriately trained.

2. No probable cause for the stop 

A police officer should stop you if there is probable cause. This means the officer must give valid reasons why they stopped you. If the officer states that they stopped you based on their guts or hunch, this will be grounds for exclusion of all the evidence obtained during the unlawful stop, including the sobriety test results.

3. Your motor skills are affected by something else

Apart from alcohol, many things can impact your performance on a standardized field sobriety test, calling into question the validity of the results. Things that can affect your performance might include the following:

  • Wind
  • Extreme weather
  • Moving objects
  • Footwear
  • Dust
  • Physical injury
  • Flashing lights
  • Nearby traffic

4. Only one sample breath test was obtained

A police officer should get two breath samples with a disparity of not more than 0.2 grams per 100 liters of blood alcohol. If the police officer obtained just one sample, the results might be questioned.

You can challenge a sobriety test

Challenging a sobriety test can be part of your defense strategy. This is because there may be many factors that put into question the validity of the test. However, it would be best if you first got legal guidance to know your legal options and protect your rights.



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