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3 conditions that can lead to failing a field sobriety test

It is possible to fail a field sobriety test and receive charges for driving under the influence even if you are sober. Various injuries, disabilities and illnesses can cause people to fail this test. You might be physically incapable of following the directions of a field sobriety test.

What conditions affect your ability to pass the test? Here is an analysis of what could affect your performance and lead to a DUI charge.

1. Injuries or physical disorders

Common components of field sobriety tests are the one-leg stand and walk-and-turn. If you have an injury in your leg, foot or hip, you would have trouble performing these activities. Movement or skeletal disorders may also affect your ability to complete these tests with success.

2. Neurological injuries

Head or brain trauma can significantly impact your field sobriety test results. A police officer may perform a horizontal gaze nystagmus test to see if there are any involuntary eye movements. The problem is that there are similar tests to determine if someone has a concussion. If you have had any previous head or brain injuries, you face an unfair expectation to pass this portion of the test.

3. Poor balance from various conditions

A variety of conditions can significantly impair your ability to do a one-leg stand or walk-and-turn by affecting your balance and coordiation. These include:

  • Ear infection
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Labyrinthitis (inner-ear disorder)
  • Parkinson’s disease

These are just a few examples of injuries and disabilities that can negatively impact your field sobriety test performance. Police officers may also administer field sobriety tests improperly. Simply because you fail to pass a field sobriety test does not mean you deserve charges for driving while intoxicated. If the police pull you over for DUI, make sure you inform the officer of any conditions you have that may affect your testing ability.

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