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Reasons You Might Fail a Field Sobriety Test

Despite it common use at DUI stops, there are a number of external factors that can impact field sobriety testing. These factors include the following:

Age: Yes, it's true; a person's age does have an impact on how a person performs on field exercises. This is recognized by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). According to their police training manual, people over the age of 65 should not be given the tests.

Foot wear: Makes sense don't you think? Certainly it's much harder to perform a one leg stand or a walk and turn exercise in high heels than in Dockers. Have you lawyer bring your shoes to court. You'd be surprised how effective this one little thing can be.

Disease: There are a multitude of diseases that can impact one's ability to perform field tasks, including inner ear disease or prior head trauma. If you have a really bad cold, and your ears are plugged up, this can impact your balance because that's where balance happens.

AD/HD: If you have attention deficit disorder, and the officer knows it, and gives you the test anyway, you can use this fact to possibly win the case. A person with AD/HD can't be expected to listen to complex instructions and perform well at the road side.

Nervousness: People respond to the presence of the officer in different ways, and being nervous can impact your physical and mental ability. If this were not true than why would Olympic athletes sometimes choke, and blow the medal when they've done the same thing millions of times before?

Flashing Lights: The officer may have given you the HGN test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus). If this was given while you were facing the flashing lights, such lights can actually cause the nystagmus (involuntary jerking in the eyes) to occur.

Improper Constitutions: The NHTSA rules require that you be given the tests under reasonable circumstances, meaning for example, a reasonably dry flat surface. Bad conditions can lead to bad results.

Sleep Deprivation: Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived look just like people who are intoxicated. Sleep deprivation can cause balance and memory problems, and if it's severe enough, can even cause slurred speech.

Test Improperly Administered: Just as NHTSA requires certain conditions, NHTSA also requires that the tests be administered according to the standardized protocol. If they are not, the results are invalid. You can't be expected to perform properly on tests with bad or confusing instructions.

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Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
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Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
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The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.