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Other Factors Affecting Field Sobriety Tests

There are many factors to consider whenever someone is charged with a DWI, but one thing to consider is that many of the common signs of intoxication are mimicked by some symptoms of disease or other medical conditions. For example, someone who was having an insulin reaction may feel dizzy and they sometimes take on a slightly sweet odor that is similar to the smell of alcohol.  If it can be shown that the person had=s diabetes and was having a diabetic reaction, it would be a lot more difficult to cite alcohol as the cause.

When it comes to field sobriety tests, such health issues as bad knees or ankles, bad eyesight or many other things could make it difficult to impossible to perform well on the tests, which would make them difficult to be used as evidence in court. I recently had two cases in which the person had a head injury, but the officer made them perform the tests, anyway, despite the fact that a head injury will make it almost impossible to pass any such test, because of the loss of balance. In another case, a client fell asleep at the wheel, and the officer said he drove like that because he was drunk; by proving he fell asleep and hit his head, the tests could not possibly determine his condition.

How Can Shoes Affect the Field Sobriety Tests?

Another thing that can throw the results of field sobriety tests into doubt are heels or uncomfortable shoes. Ideally, the person should be wearing tennis shoes when performing these tests, because most other types of shoes make it difficult to walk heel-to-toe, including pumps, sandals or flip-flops. Even cowboy boots make these tests difficult, because it’s hard to feel the rocks underneath.  Likewise, some women’s clothing makes passing these tests difficult, including tight pencil skirts, which can make it difficult to walk. Anyone who is being asked to take the field sobriety tests should advise the officer if their shoes or their clothing were inappropriate for the tasks.

For more information on Factors That Affect Field Sobriety Tests, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 691- 4366 today.

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