By Carlos Gamino

Field sobriety tests are extremely common during drunk driving stops. It’s not unusual for a police officer to say, “Could you step out of the car, please?” when he or she suspects a person of driving under the influence – but how accurate are field sobriety tests, and is it possible to challenge them in court?

Related: OWI vs. DUI in Wisconsin

Can You Challenge Field Sobriety Testing?

You and your attorney can absolutely challenge field sobriety testing. Your attorney may challenge based on your physical condition, age, weight or even your driving experience; he or she might also discuss the conditions on the roadside, the police officer’s experience in conducting these types of tests, and whether you were ill or wearing contact lenses at the time of your field sobriety test.

The bottom line is that these types of tests contain questionable methods – methods that may not tell a police officer whether you’re drunk or sober. For example, people pulled over for drunk driving may be asked to:

  • Stand on one foot while counting
  • Walk along an imaginary line
  • Touch one finger to the tip of their nose slowly
  • Recite the alphabet or count backward
  • Follow a pen or a light that a police officer holds in front of their face (this is called a nystagmus test)

How many of those things can you do under normal circumstances? How many of them can you do if you’re under a tremendous amount of pressure because you know that if you mess up, you’re going to jail – even if you haven’t had a drop to drink? The reality is that there are many reasons people struggle with each of these “tests.”

Related: First offense OWI in Wisconsin

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Challenging a Field Sobriety Test?

Many attorneys look for ways to challenge field sobriety tests because they don’t accurately predict how “drunk” a person is. If you were arrested for drinking and driving after taking a field sobriety test, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now – we will be happy to answer your questions about OWI charges and develop a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Attorney Carlos Gamino