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How Accurate Are Field Sobriety Tests?

If you are stopped in Tennessee on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the officer who pulls you over may confirm his or her suspicions by requesting that you perform field sobriety tests before you are arrested. However, there are many factors that can impact your performance on these tests, and lead to an unjust drunk driving arrest.

At Michael J. Flanagan Attorney at Law, our lawyer has practiced in the state for more than three decades and has successfully defended many clients in DUI cases. He will research your case thoroughly and look for mistakes in evidence gathering or handling by law enforcement. His goal is the best outcome for you, whether that is a plea deal, an acquittal or even dropped charges.

Circumstances That Can Skew Field Sobriety Test Results

It is vital that our attorney understand all the factors that were present during your DUI stop. The most common sobriety tests can be affected by a number of things completely unrelated to alcohol consumption, including:

  • If you are asked to take the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and follow a pen moved in front of your eyes by an officer, it is easy to become distracted by traffic and other background visual distractions.
  • The “walk and turn” test can be difficult to complete for motorists with joint, balance or orthopedic problems.
  • If you are tested by being asked to stand on one leg, your results could be skewed by orthopedic or balance problems, as well as general fatigue.

In general, we advise clients not to submit to field sobriety tests prior to arrest. You are not legally required to take them, although the officer who pulls you over generally will not tell you that. Remember to always be polite and cooperative with the police, and to request to speak to your attorney as soon as possible.

Hire A Skilled DUI Defense Lawyer Today

Our firm can challenge your intoxicated driving arrest and spot weaknesses in the state’s case against you. We serve clients and know the court systems in Nashville, TN, and the surrounding area, including Dickson, Hickman, Lewis, Perry, Cheatham, Robertson and Davidson counties. To set up a free initial appointment, call us at 615-953-8339 or use our online contact form. Se habla Español.