Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer
Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Can drivers challenge field sobriety test results during a trial?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | DUI / DWAI |

There are typically several types of evidence supporting a prosecutor’s case when they file driving under the influence (DUI) charges against a Colorado motorist. Frequently, police officers have breath test results and field sobriety tests supporting their claim that someone was under the influence at the wheel. These tests help show that there were reasonable signs of impairment or that someone was likely over the per se limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving.

Recognizing that the state has evidence often leads to people entering guilty pleas, even if they still assert that they weren’t breaking the law. Drivers may feel as though they cannot defend themselves against such allegations, but many people do successfully challenge the state’s case when facing DUI charges.

Especially if someone did not perform a chemical breath test or did not fail a breath test, field sobriety test performance can play a major role in the prosecution’s case. Can drivers potentially exclude field sobriety test results from court proceedings?

Yes, there may be ways to challenge the evidence

Every DUI arrest has unique circumstances, and no one strategy works in every situation. However, there are several common approaches used by those who want to prevent the inclusion of field sobriety test results in their trial.

One might involve having a defense attorney question the legality of the traffic stop. If the police officer violated best practices or the law by conducting an illegal traffic stop, then the evidence they gathered during that interaction may not be usable in a criminal trial.

Other times, motorists might challenge mistakes made by an officer during field sobriety test administration. Deviating from the standardized tests, failing to record the testing process and other mistakes by police officers could reduce the value of evidence based on the field sobriety tests.

In some scenarios, the defense strategy might focus on exploring an alternate explanation for someone’s performance on the test. A medical issue could affect how someone behaves during roadside field sobriety testing and may lead to inaccurate test results.

Understanding that the existence of prosecutorial evidence doesn’t always automatically mean someone will end up convicted of wrongdoing can benefit those who are worried about their performance during a field sobriety test in Colorado.