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Failed Your California Field Sobriety Test? Maybe You Were DUI... But Maybe You Weren't!

Posted by Christopher Martens | Dec 03, 2014 | 0 Comments

Maybe police stopped you at a checkpoint and busted you for DUI, after you blew a 0.12 percent on your breath test (1.5 times the Golden State's legal limit, per California Vehicle Section 23152). Or maybe police arrested you after a fender-bender on a Fresno freeway for the crime of DUI with injury and hit and run.

In either case, you are terrified and overwhelmed.

Such feelings make rational sense. After all, the consequences of a DUI conviction can range from jail sentences of OVER A YEAR, suspension of your driver's license, FORCED INSTALLATION of an interlock ignition device, huge spikes in your insurance rates, and massive problems for your personal reputation and career.

Before you start you hanging your head, mourning the fact that your life is over, stop and consider some potential good news: just because you "failed" your field sobriety test does not necessarily mean that you had been technically under the influence or that a conviction is inevitable. Some of the more common field sobriety tests include:

  • Count backwards by threes. This tests your mental coherence;
  • Close your eyes, stick your hands out to the side and then try to touch your nose with the tips of your fingers. This checks your balance;
  • The police might shine a flashlight in your eyes. People who are under the influence often have trouble of tracking the light;
  • Walk in a straight line, such as the white line by the side of a road, almost as if you were walking on a balance beam. This also tests your balance and coordination.

There are many reasons why you could fail these types of test beyond DUI, including:

  • Nervousness;
  • Natural lack of coordination;
  • Confusion about instructions;
  • Medical problem that makes it difficult for you to balance or think clearly in pressure situations (e.g. autism, a learning disability, etc.);
  • Perhaps you did pass the test, but the officer incorrectly (either on purpose or accidentally) marked down that you failed.

How can you fight back? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team. Whether this is your first DUI or fifth, we will fight aggressively for you at Visalia Court at 221 South Mooney Boulevard in Visalia California.

About the Author

Christopher Martens

Bio Visalia and Bakersfield criminal defense attorney who has dedicated his life to helping those who have been accused of crimes or injured due to the negligence of others.


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