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Field sobriety test may be tough to pass even when sober

Hundreds of drivers are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, but not all of them are actually guilty. In fact, many times even people who don’t pass field sobriety tests are actually innocent of drunk driving charges. Any person in Denver who has been charged with a DUI should make sure that he or she understands his or her rights.

According to one defense attorney, thousands of people are pulled over because officers think they have been drinking and driving, when in fact many of them haven’t even had a single drop of alcohol. When a sober person flunks a test it’s known as a false positive and it can happen for a lot of reasons, including being nervous or having bad coordination or balance. Whatever the reason, the fact is, field sobriety tests are not 100 percent accurate.

The same defense attorney says that the test procedure, which consists of three separate parts, is full of flaws. According to the DUI/DWI Foundation, the walk-and-run test is accurate 68 percent of the time, while the horizontal gaze nystagmus test gets it right 77 percent of the time. The one-leg stand test has the smallest accuracy rate at 65 percent.

According to the attorney he has experienced several cases of defendants who have failed a field sobriety test, been arrested and then later acquitted of DUI. This just proves that a DUI arrest does not guarantee a conviction. Anyone who has been arrested for a DUI should probably seek the help of a competent DUI defense attorney.

Source: NBC 29, “Passing a field sobriety test difficult - drunk or sober,” Nov. 14, 2013.

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