Greg Gladden Attorney at Law

Board Certified In Criminal Defense For Nearly 30 Years

Can a sober person fail a DWI sobriety test?

After a whirlwind of events, including having to take sobriety tests on the side of the road and a trip to your local police station, you are now facing a DWI charge. You are confused about the chain of events that led to your charge because you didn’t even drink that much alcohol the night the police officer pulled you over. But you are already stressing about how you will deal with a higher car insurance rate and a criminal mark on your record.

There are a lot of factors that are involved in DWI stops. So, replaying the traffic stop in your mind may help you see if an error or mistake has led to your charge.

Specifically, here are some details and flaws that can impact the results of sobriety tests:

  • Medical conditions: Suspects at DWI stops might face any number of health conditions that could impact their performance of sobriety tests. For example, inner ear problems or arthritis, can throw off someone’s balance while they are trying to prove they are sober by walking in a straight line or standing on one foot.
  • Environmental factors: The location suspects must perform these tests may impact the results as well. Having cars zoom past on a busy highway while you must follow the officer’s pen with your eyes can be distracting and may cause you to look away from the officer. Or even the intensity of flashing lights of the squad car and being face-to-face with an armed officer may cause fear or anxiety.
  • Technical difficulties: When it comes to the breathalyzer, there are several technical errors that may show an incorrect reading of a suspect’s blood alcohol concentration level. This can include improper calibration or a software issue.
  • Administration errors: A police officer may forget an important point when giving instructions for a sobriety test, which, in turn, could result in poor performance on the test. And maybe the officer never had a good reason, or reasonable suspicion, to pull you over in the first place.

A criminal defense attorney can help you retrace the details surrounding your DWI stop to help you seek justice for an unfair charge.