Failing the Field Sobriety Tests does Not Mean You Will Be Convicted of DWI

Interviewer: Before you go onto the breath test, if people fail the field sobriety tests, does that mean they’re pretty much doomed, are they going to be convicted or are there still plenty of defenses?

Gary: No, failing the field sobriety tests means absolutely nothing except maybe you’re nervous.  I have had clients that are completely sober that can’t do some of the activities on a field sobriety test. That doesn’t mean anything.

If you’re falling down drunk, slurring your words talking to the officer and not being able to stand, that’s an indication you are intoxicated. However, if you are following the instructions the officer had relayed to you the best you can but still have trouble with the tests that does not mean you are drunk.

I’ve had an officer testify my client didn’t comply with the request because he didn’t hold his leg up for 30 seconds. Well, he was counting one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, and it took him 35 seconds to count that way. Because the way the officer is counting doesn’t mean he failed his test but the officer will turn around and use that against him.

Just because you didn’t do well on a field sobriety test doesn’t mean that you can’t win the case. I always ask clients, what do people do when they see a police car if they’re speeding? They get nervous, slow down, whatever. So, can you imagine getting stopped by a policeman and how nervous you are and what condition you are in when you’re trying to perform the sobriety tests?