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How to Contest the Results from Field Sobriety Tests (Part B)

There are a number of different defenses that may be applicable to questioning field sobriety tests. The nature of these defenses can surprise you. For instance, the term "field sobriety test" should not be used with a jury, since it makes the test sound more reliable than it actually is. If an officer or prosecutor does this, your Virginia DUI defense lawyer should know how to respond.

Why Field Sobriety Tests can be Inaccurate

As it turns out, field sobriety tests cannot always accurately detect drunkenness. These tests come in several varieties, like the "one leg stand" test. However, government studies demonstrated that the one leg stand test fails to detect drunkenness in 45% of test takers

Police officers sometimes like to make Virginia DUI suspects take non-standardized tests, like counting backwards or reciting the ABCs. These tests are not considered valid by either the scientific community or the federal government. If an officer made you take non-standardized tests, your Virginia DUI attorney may be able to use that to cast doubt on the prosecution's claims.

Police Error in Field Sobriety Tests

The police officer may have also failed to take other factors into account when administering the field sobriety tests. For instance, you might have failed a balance test, not because you were drunk, but simply because you were wearing uncomfortable shoes or just don't have a great sense of balance due to a medical issue.

The officer also has to tell the court where the Virginia DUI tests were administered. This is so that the court can research issues like uneven or rocky terrain that might have influenced the test results. Should the officer refuse to divulge this information, the court may simply dismiss the case.

There is another common field sobriety test called the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which measures involuntary eye movement as a sign of inebriation. Many police officers make mistakes when conducting this test, and may not know how to properly interpret the signs, resulting in an erroneous Virginia DUI charge.

Given the likelihood of police error, it's clear that you need to get professional legal help to get through this situation.

Bob Battle's GUARANTEE for DUI Defendants 

Bob Battle is the only DUI lawyer in Virginia to offer a guarantee that could be worth thousands of dollars in free legal representation. Under Virginia law, if you are convicted of DUI in the General District Court, you have a right to appeal and get a new trial in the Circuit Court. Bob Battle guarantees that, if you wish to appeal your case, he will represent you on appeal to the Circuit Court for FREE!

To learn more about Virginia DUI, get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia. Or, contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts