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Failed Sobriety Test

Failed Field Sobriety Test

Defense for a Failed Field Sobriety Test in CA

So, you failed your field sobriety test and you were arrested for DUI—Now what? While you may believe that there is little hope of fighting your DUI and challenging your field sobriety test, nothing could be farther from the truth. Field sobriety tests are not 100% accurate and were only meant to be used as an evaluation tool for police officers. Instead, officers routinely arrest DUI suspects based solely on failed field sobriety tests—even when their BAC is less than 0.08%.

There are many factors that can determine whether or not you fail a field sobriety test. Much of the analysis is subjective and the officer's interpretation of you and your ability to safely operate a vehicle. In fact, the government's own studies have shown that these tests are only 60-77% accurate. This means that the results of these tests can be challenged and often won if you have a skilled Oakland DUI defense attorney on your side.

At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our DUI lawyer knows how to expose the weaknesses in the procedures and administration of field sobriety tests. We are often able to prove this during the DMV hearing or if necessary, in a courtroom.

Defending Against a Failed Field Sobriety Test

Inappropriate Settings or Improper Administration: The NHTSA requires that field sobriety tests be performed appropriately and safely. If a police officer fails to perform the test correctly, how can anyone be sure you truly failed? In addition, if your test was performed on uneven surfaces, under inadequate lighting, or without the proper room to maneuver correctly, then the field sobriety test could be challenged.

Age and Injuries: If you are over the age of 60 years old, or if you have any injuries or chronic aches or pains that could prevent you from performing these field tests appropriately, your DUI defense attorney should bring that to the court's attention. Slightly overweight individuals can have difficulty passing field sobriety tests—even if they have not even had a drink.

Unsuitable Attire: The clothing and shoes you wear can have a direct impact on the results of your field sobriety test. Tight clothes, high heels, and gloves can all impede a suspect's movements and throw them off balance.

Tired and Other Causes: Lack of coordination can occur for many reasons—including being overly tired or having a medical condition such as anxiety or a brain injury. These factors must be taken into consideration before you are convicted of DUI and should help to discredit the officer's interpretation of you as a drunk driver.

Get the Proven Defense You Need

When it is your word versus the police officer's word, you need an experienced and aggressive Oakland DUI defense attorney on your side.

At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our Oakland DUI attorney often visits the arrest site to investigate the road surface and lighting. We can speak with your physicians to discuss any injuries that may have contributed to your failed field sobriety test and we can expose procedural flaws that occurred that night.

We help clients in Oakland, Berkeley, Concord, Richmond, and throughout the East Bay. Get in touch with the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to start building a solid defense against these serious charges. Call us at (510) 907-6600 for a consultation.


If you are already detained, we are also available for phone consultations and jail interviews. You can fill out a confidential contact form.


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