Why do people who are sober sometimes fail sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | DUI |

Alabama residents who get pulled over by police on suspicion of drunk driving are often asked to take field sobriety tests. If you’re sober, you expect to easily pass, but it’s possible to fail.

What are field sobriety tests?

Field sobriety tests consist of certain steps and instructions to test a person’s ability to balance and follow directions. They’re used to determine whether a person is driving under the influence. If they fail, they are usually presumed to be intoxicated and can be arrested on DUI charges. However, these tests are not always accurate.

Why would sober people fail field sobriety tests?

There are a few reasons why a person who is sober might fail a field sobriety test. Around one-third of people who fail are not guilty of driving under the influence. A person with certain medical conditions could fail the tests that involve balancing. For example, if a person suffers from vertigo, which causes dizziness, they might not pass the one-leg stand test.

Individuals with anxiety can fail these tests due to the stress they experience during the tests. When a person has symptoms of anxiety, it can interfere with their ability to perform the physical parts of field sobriety tests, leading the police officer to believe they are driving while under the influence.

Fatigue can also cause a sober person to fail a field sobriety test. If you’re overly tired, you might be weaker than usual and lack the strength needed to pass.

People who are overweight or obese might also have trouble passing a field sobriety test. Too much weight can make it difficult to perform the walk and turn steps or stand on one leg.

Individuals with hearing impairments might not understand the instructions of field sobriety tests and fail.

If you were arrested for DUI but were sober, you must fight back to protect your rights.