Can you fail a field sobriety test if you're sober?
Field sobriety tests are designed to be difficult if you're drunk, but the idea is that you wouldn't have a hard time passing if you were sober. However, some experts say that it's actually very easy to fail these tests, even if you've had nothing to drink at all.
That's important to note because you could be arrested and charged with a DUI, even if you weren't drunk. In a situation like that, you must know all of your legal options.
One problem, experts note, is that the test is subjective. Does the officer feel like you stumbled because you were drunk or because you tripped on a rock? Does he or she think your eye movement means that you're impaired, or is the amount of movement normal? Officers have to make these judgment calls on the fly.
What's worse is that the calls aren't made in a controlled environment, like a lab. Instead, most officers are just standing in a parking lot or on the side of the road. It could be in the middle of the night when it is dark out, and it could be snowing or raining. There are a ton of factors that can influence how you do on the test and what the officer thinks of your performance, all which have nothing to do with what you've had to drink.
Furthermore, you may have balance issues that impact your performance on walk-and-turn tests. Your performance may be impacted if you're extremely tired.
If you fail the tests, you need to know what steps to take next. A New York criminal defense attorney with experience handling DUIs can provide advice and work to protect your rights.