Is a failed field sobriety test proof that you were drunk?

While driving around Northern Kentucky, you may have seen people who were pulled over and taking field sobriety tests, especially during the holidays. Field sobriety tests are a common way for law enforcement to quickly determine whether a person is suspected of driving while intoxicated. However, the accuracy of these tests is up for debate.

According to ABC Action News, field sobriety tests are subject to an officer's own interpretation. Police officers are only human, and they also make mistakes. If you take a field sobriety test, you might have difficulty passing the test and may even be charged with drunk driving, despite not having had anything to drink.

How is it possible that a sober person could be mistaken as drunk by a police officer? Failing any of the physical tests during a field sobriety test is a common way for this to occur. You might have difficulty balancing on one foot or walking in a straight line, due to an inner ear condition or simply having poor balance. If you have an injury, have previously suffered from a stroke or illness that affects the way you walk or have a speech impediment, a police officer might mistake these restrictions as signs of intoxication. Having red or puffy eyes due to fatigue or allergies might also be mistaken for drunkenness. You could also fail a field sobriety test simply by being nervous or not fully understanding the officer's instructions.

Numerous physical or cognitive conditions may lead law enforcement to falsely suspect you of drunk driving during a field sobriety test. Because DUI defense is a complex area of law, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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