Can a Field Sobriety Test Be Misleading?

Sober drivers in Virginia may have more difficulty passing a sobriety test than you initially think. Most people think very little about field sobriety tests until they face a traffic stop where the officer suspects drunk driving. According to the Huffington Post, some people cannot pass the field sobriety test when sober.

If you fail your sobriety test, you may have to face an arrest. If the officer has you undergo the field sobriety test first, he or she may arrest you before you have a chance to take the breathalyzer test. To make it worse, even if you clear your name, you still have an arrest for a failed sobriety test.

Some people are capable of driving both physically and legally. They may have impaired mobility, injuries or trouble with their limbs. The field sobriety test often involves a few different tests. These tests include the following:

  • A one-legged stand 
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus 
  • Walk and turn 

The problem with these tests is that there are conditions that can cause a person to fail. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test, for instance, tests for involuntary jerking of the eye. While this is present in those who have been drinking, it can also be a congenital condition, a disease, stroke, injury or a number of other conditions that have nothing to do with drinking. 

For those who cannot put weight on one limb, the one-legged stand may be impossible. It is easy for a person to lose balance or to be unable to finish the test due to an injury. 

The above information is for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice.