You get pulled over on the way home from dinner, and the officer says he thinks that you were drinking. You know you haven’t actually had any alcohol, but maybe you made a simple driving error, like drifting out of your lane, that made it look as if you were impaired.
You protest your innocence, but the officer tells you to do some field sobriety tests. If you’re really sober, he says, then you should pass the tests. Could you actually fail them if you’re sober?
Sobriety tests aren’t that accurate
This is a problem that has been studied, and it’s been found that a significant number of people tend to fail at least one field sobriety test even if they aren’t impaired.
For instance, the walk and turn test is often used. It sounds simple enough, but someone who is tired and fatigued from a long day at work could trip and fall.
Another test that is frequently used is the one-leg stand. But what if it’s dark when you get pulled over, you can’t see the shoulder of the road very well, and you slip in the gravel? The officer may assume that you can’t stand on one foot when you really know that you could easily do it in better conditions.
What do you do next?
You could be arrested for failing field sobriety tests. Not all officers have portable breath tests, and they can make arrests based on these field tests even when someone passes the breath test. Therefore, you could be arrested even though you’re sober. If this does happen to you, it’s important to consider all of your legal defense options.