If you’ve been accused of drunk driving, then you’re probably worried about the legal challenges ahead of you. There’s nothing wrong with being concerned given the stakes involved. The best way to alleviate your concerns is to be prepared with the best DUI defense possible. This might include attacking the results of field sobriety tests, especially if that’s the only evidence the prosecution has against you.
Know the weaknesses of field sobriety tests
There are acceptable standards with which field sobriety tests should be conducted, but officers often fail to adhere to these standards. This can result in inaccurate test results and wrongful accusations of criminal wrongdoing. So the best way to spot weaknesses is in police officer error.
The walk-and-turn test
Take, for example, the walk-and-turn test. This field sobriety test involves walking a given number of steps in heel-to-toe fashion along a straight line with your arms outstretched. Once you take the requisite number of steps, you are instructed to pivot and return in a similar fashion. Officers look for wobbling, swaying, and an inability to follow instructions, considering each a sign of intoxication.
Yet, officers often make mistakes in administering this test. They can give incomplete or confusing instructions, and they can fail to take outside factors into account that may alter the results of a field sobriety test. An existing medical condition, your shoes, and uneven ground can each affect the outcome of the walk-and-turn test.
Standing up to prosecutors
A lot of prosecutors tend to think of DUI cases as easy because they can often bully accused individuals into a plea deal. While a plea deal might be right in some circumstances, you should only consider it after you’ve assessed whether you can obtain dismissed charges or an acquittal. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to assist you in building the best case possible based on the circumstances at hand.