In order to be arrested for DUI the police have to have some proof that you were driving while intoxicated. Most times this proof comes after the arresting officer conducts some in field testing, which can start with a field sobriety test and end with a breath test. It is important not to confuse these two types of tests. A field sobriety test is what you might normally think of when considering a DUI; things like walking a straight line, touching your fingers to your nose, or following an object with your eyes. On the other hand, a breath test is a procedure whereby you blow into a machine, and that machine gives a scientific read out of the amount of alcohol in your blood stream. This is referred to as your blood alcohol content, or BAC. If your BAC is over the legal limit of .08%, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Most people think the breath test is accurate all of the time, and that if the test shows you were over the legal limit, you have no defense. This is simply not the case. There are many challenges you can make against the BAC determination, including attacking the testing procedure, the maintenance of the machine, and whether there were other substances in your system that can cause the result to be wrong. But with a field sobriety test for a DUI case, the challenges are a bit trickier. This is because there is no data recorded from a field sobriety test, but there are factors that can have an impact on the outcome. Three problems with relying on field sobriety tests as a reason to conduct a breath test are:
- Weight: depending on how much you weigh, you may or may not be able to walk a straight line in any condition; sober, or after having a few drinks.
- Age: your age also plays a role in how you perform a field sobriety test.
- Medical condition: some conditions, especially those related to your eyesight, might effect how well you “perform” on a field sobriety test.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is critical to attack the result of all tests, whether that means a breath test or a field sobriety test, or both. Every case is different, and every defendant is different. The facts and circumstances unique to your case and to you personally, will play a role in what type of defense strategy you use. Call us to go over the facts of your case, and let us help you put your best foot forward.
If you have been arrested for DUI, call our office for help today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.