A widely held misconception, amongst both law enforcement and the general public, is that the standardized field sobriety tests are a valid method for determining impairment. This just simply is not true.
Here are some simple questions that will show you why these field sobriety tests are meaningless:
Have you ever stumbled while walking?
Does that stumbling mean you were drunk?
If you can stumble while walking normally, what about when asked to perform the difficult and awkward task of walking heel-to-toe -the way nobody walks?
What about standing on one leg?
Is this something you practice often?
If you stumbled does that automatically mean you are drunk?
The fact of the matter is that doing poorly on these very difficult field sobriety tests can be attributed to a number of reasons like being:
- Having a history of leg or back injuries
- Suffering from an illness or weakness
- Wearing high heels
- Downright clumsy
- Extremely nervous or scared
Despite these facts, there is too much emphasis put on these field sobriety tests during a DUI trial and because of this, many innocent people have been found guilty of DUI and especially of DUI-drugs (no testing is required at all, only the opinion of the officer is needed).
This is why you should always choose a DUI lawyer who is an expert in Field Sobriety Testing and can defend these issues in court. This is an important part of properly representing your case and protecting your rights.