If you are suspected of driving while impaired in Colorado, you may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests. The results of those tests may be used as a justification to take you into custody for DUI. However, it may be possible to challenge these results in court; pursuing such a challenge may help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Was the test performed properly?
A field sobriety test must generally be performed in accordance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines. If this is not true in your case, the result of such a test might be ruled inadmissible by a judge. A test may be ruled inadmissible if an officer asks you to recite the alphabet backwards or asks you to touch your finger to your nose. Ideally, an officer will instead ask you to follow a moving object or stand on one leg to determine your level of impairment at the time of a traffic stop.
Do you have a mental or physical health ailment?
An officer must take into account a physical or mental health ailment when evaluating your performance on a field sobriety test. For instance, if you have trouble standing, the one-leg test may not be an accurate reflection of your state of impairment. If you have trouble seeing, it may not be possible to follow an object with your eyes even if you were sober. These facts may be brought up for consideration by a judge or jury before or during a trial as part of a criminal defense strategy, and they may be enough to have your case dismissed or for a jury to find you not guilty of a DUI charge.
Challenging the results of a field sobriety test may make it easier to obtain a favorable outcome in a drunk or impaired driving case. If your challenge is successful, it may result in a charge being dropped or reduced. This may mean that you avoid jail time, a fine or other penalties that might be handed down in a DUI case.