Roadside sobriety testing can be embarrassing, frightening, and sometimes confusing. Officers do not always use the most reliable or reasonable methods for attempting to make a snap judgment about a person’s level of intoxication. More than that, roadside sobriety testing can sometimes be greatly unfair, occasionally to the point where the results genuinely reveal little or nothing about whether a person is intoxicated. Police officers are often more interested in making a DUI arrest than in ensuring fair and reasonable field sobriety tests, on which they frequently base their decisions to make an arrest. Many factors, from weather-related challenges to improper footwear or poorly articulated instructions, can create unfairness, and even affect the validity of a roadside sobriety test. If you suspect that you were set up to fail a roadside sobriety test, it is important to raise this point with your criminal defense attorney.
Unfair Challenges During Roadside Sobriety Tests
If you have ever seen roadside sobriety testing demonstrated, it was likely in a well-lit area on a mostly flat surface. Under conditions like these, field sobriety tests can offer relatively strong evidence of a person’s intoxication or sobriety. However, your field sobriety tests may not offer much information about your state at the time of arrest if you were faced with unfair challenges such as:
High winds – High winds can throw off a person’s sense of balance, particularly when they are attempting to stand on one leg or walk in a perfectly straight line. Officers may claim that a person was swaying from side to side when in reality, they were struggling against high winds.
Uneven surface – If you had the misfortune of being pulled over on a hill, however gradual, then your sobriety tests may have been unreasonably challenging. A person is more inclined to lean rather than stand perfectly straight when fighting the forces of gravity.
Rough or wet surface – Trying to walk on rough surfaces, like gravel, mud, or loose dirt can be challenging, even when one is perfectly sober, without the additional pressure of being stared at by police officers.
Wrong footwear – If you were wearing heels, platform shoes, or sandals such as flip-flops, you might have had a much harder time attempting to appear balanced.
Unclear instructions – If there were multiple police officers around you, inclement weather, or you were on a busy road, it may have been difficult even to hear or understand what was expected of you.
Other factors, such as any health conditions you have, can also have a noticeable impact on field sobriety tests.
Contact a Cook County DUI Attorney
Luisi Legal Group is committed to fighting back against unjust field sobriety testing. Our skilled Chicago DUI lawyers will carefully evaluate the circumstances of your testing. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation.