Steps You Can Take if You Fail a Field Sobriety Test

If an officer notices concerning behavior, you may be pulled over and asked to take a field sobriety test. This doesn’t mean that you are drunk, nor does it mean that you have even been drinking. It just means that the officer has cause to suspect you of being under the influence, such as your car veering in and out of the lane or you driving very slowly. 

If you aren’t under the influence, you should be able to take the test, pass it, and move on. But what if you don’t pass the field sobriety test? Are you doomed to be convicted of a DUI? Not necessarily. You’ll need to contact a DUI defense attorney in Phoenix to learn about your options and to fight the charges. 

Glass of whiskey and car keys on wooden table

Reasons for Failing

You may be shocked to hear that you failed a field sobriety test, especially if you haven’t been drinking or you feel that you haven’t been drinking much. Yet there are many reasons why you might fail a field sobriety test that have nothing to do with your actual sobriety. Here are a few of those reasons: 

  • Medical condition
  • Physical disability
  • Injury
  • Age
  • Side effect of lawfully prescribed medications

You may know that these or other issues affected your field sobriety test, and you may explain that to the officer to no avail. Police officers have heard every excuse under the sun from inebriated drivers, so they are unlikely to listen, even when you have a valid reason. 

It’s important that you cooperate with the officer and be as polite as you can be. You don’t want to give the officer reasons to give you additional charges, such as resisting arrest. Save the argument for after you have contact a DUI defense attorney in Mesa. If you have a reason for failing the test other than being inebriated, it will quickly be proven and the charges quickly dropped. 

What Do You Do Next? 

Failing a field sobriety test does not mean that you are going to be automatically convicted of driving under the influence. It may be cause for the officer to arrest you, but an arrest is not a conviction. It is just the start of the legal process, and you are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution will have to prove its case against you. By working with a good Mesa DUI defense attorney, you improve your chances of raising reasonable doubt about your guilt and avoiding conviction. 

Your attorney can present information about reasons you may have failed the field sobriety test. For example, your attorney may present medical records proving your medical condition, disability, injury, or prescribed medications, or your attorney may call on medical experts to testify about the effects of these conditions. If you have no such condition, your attorney may simply challenge the accuracy of the test, which is often called into question. Your attorney will explore every option for disproving the charges or calling them into question. 

You should not accept the worst if you are pulled over or arrested for driving under the influence. There are many reasons why you might fail a field sobriety test or for why an officer might suspect you of driving under the influence – regardless of whether you are actually under the influence. Charges are not indisputable. A good DUI defense lawyer in Phoenix knows this and knows how to question the charges and get them dismissed or reduced. Even if you were drinking, your attorney will find ways to get your charges or your penalties reduced. Everyone deserves a second chance!

Call My AZ Lawyers if you have been charged with DUI because you failed a field sobriety test or for some other reason. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers will review the details of your arrest and help you understand your legal rights and options. There are many ways that your charges may be challenged, and our attorneys will explore the options to determine the best strategy for your case. Our goal is to help you get the charges dismissed, and if that’s not possible, to get the minimum penalty so that the conviction does not have long-term consequences. Call us in Phoenix today to schedule a consultation with a DUI attorney.

Arizona Offices:

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202

Office: (480) 448-9800

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Glendale, AZ 85308

Office: (602) 509-0955

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2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701

Office: (520) 441-1450

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12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392

Office: (623) 469-6603