Police are often equipped with a few ways to handle people driving under the influence (DUI). Most commonly officers will use field sobriety tests and Breathalyzers to find out if someone is driving drunk or drugged.
Despite how often these tests are used they may not be as accurate as people would like. Here’s what you should know:
The accuracy of field sobriety testing is questionable (at best)
If an officer believes someone is driving under the influence, they may ask the driver to perform a few field sobriety tests:
- A horizontal gaze test: keeping your gaze on a flashlight or finger while it moves while an officer judges your focus
- The walk-and-turn test: walking in a straight line and turning while an officer judges your accuracy
- The one-legged stand test: standing on one leg while an officer judges your balance
These tests may help an officer gauge whether someone is drunk or on drugs. These tests can be very inaccurate, however, if someone has a medical disability, illness or other symptoms, causing an officer to misjudge their assessment.
Breathalyzer false positives do happen
You aren’t legally bound to take a field sobriety test, but you can’t refuse a Breathalyzer test without risking your license. This test will conclude whether someone has exceeded the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) while driving. Certain substances may cause these tests to produce false-positive results:
- Alcohol in perfume, mouthwash or deodorant
- Energy drinks, fruit and protein bars
- Certain medications
If you believe you were wrongly charged with a DUI because of faulty roadside testing, then you may need to reach out for legal help for the best possible defense.