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California Field Sobriety Test Defenses

If you were asked to perform a field sobriety test due to suspicion of intoxication, the results can serve as probable cause for a DUI arrest. In order to fight against conviction and avoid the serious penalties on the line, you need a criminal defense lawyer to investigate your case. There are three standardized field sobriety tests often used to determine intoxication levels, but they need to be conducted under safe and appropriate conditions. If law enforcement administers these tests in adverse conditions, the test can be more difficult and result in invalid results. The testing conditions that must be considered include:

  • The surface of the ground- must be reasonably dry, hard, level and not slippery
  • The amount of room for the test must be sufficient
  • The light settings- there must be adequate lighting so the suspect can see the officer and the ground in order to perform the test
  • The audial settings- the noise level should not affect the suspect's ability to hear instructions

If the setting of the tests is inadequate, the results of field sobriety tests may be deemed invalid. Even if the setting is acceptable, there are many other factors that can result in a defense to these tests. Other defenses have to do with the suspect and the arresting officer. First, if the suspect has an injury or illness that makes testing more difficult, the results may not be valid. Being overweight or elderly can make the necessary tasks harder. Second, if the suspect is not wearing appropriate shoes for the test, the performance may not be reliable. Lastly, if the officer does not administer the tests appropriately or does not have probable cause for an arrest or pull over, the charges may be dropped. For help in building a unique defense in your case, team up with a DUI lawyer in Dublin from the Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse. Contact us today and schedule your free case evaluation.