In many cases, a police officer who pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving will ask you to do field sobriety tests. They may use these if they don’t have a portable breath test or simply as a way to determine if you’re intoxicated before giving you that test.
Unfortunately, it is certainly possible to fail these field sobriety tests even if you are not impaired. This could lead to an arrest. How could this occur?
The walk and turn
One of the most common field sobriety tests is known as the walk and turn test. The officer will have you walk in a straight line to a certain point, turn around, and walk back. It’s a simple test to gauge balance and ability to follow instructions.
But many traffic stops occur late at night, and visibility simply isn’t very good. It’s easy to trip or stumble while doing the walk and turn just because you’re tired and you can’t see as well as you would in the middle of the day.
The one-leg stand
Some officers will also use the one-leg stand test to gauge your sense of balance. But not everyone has the same natural ability to balance on one foot. This test could also be more difficult for those who are overweight or who have suffered injuries in the past. If you hurt your ankle while running earlier in the day, for example, you could fail the one-leg stand.
Police officers often trust their field sobriety tests, but this helps to show just how inaccurate they may be. If you get arrested, be sure you know about all of your legal options.