If you have been pulled over for a suspected DUI in Louisiana, there is a good chance that the officer who stopped you may ask you to take a standardized field sobriety test. Louisiana DUI laws, though, do not require you to submit to such tests. While informed consent laws in Louisiana mandate your participation in blood, urine, or breath tests, they do not apply to field sobriety tests. There is good reason for this because although it has been said such tests have had their effectiveness improved upon since their inception, they are still not a reliable means to indicate a person was, in fact, intoxicated when they were pulled over by law enforcement.
Challenging a field sobriety test is possible if you took one and the officer issued an arrest. There are several factors that can influence the outcome of a field sobriety test, and these results do not necessarily mean that someone is actually inebriated.
If you were pulled over for a DUI in Louisiana, it is essential to understand what your rights are and how to defend against your charges. For assistance with this, please reach out to the Louisiana criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams.
What Factors Undermine a Field Sobriety Test
There are several factors that undermine the accuracy of field sobriety tests. First, how someone performs each task can be influenced by many things outside of drugs or alcohol. For example, older adults and individuals with medical conditions or injuries may have balance problems that can make doing any tests incredibly hard. There are several studies on this exact thing, and there is evidence that once a person reaches the age of 40, they will struggle to perform these tests while sober. Individuals aged 40 and above who are sober can have similar results as those younger than 40 who are intoxicated with blood alcohol content at and above the legal limit of .08.
Next, there is a natural bias that cannot be overlooked. An officer that already has in mind that the person they are pulling over is intoxicated may not have probable cause after the stop is made. As a result, they could opt to request a field sobriety test. Any misstep or error may be scrutinized more harshly in these instances.
Speak to a Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Due to the fact that you do not have to take a field sobriety test and there can be inconsistencies with the results, it does make it essential for individuals who are pulled over to really think about agreeing to take one. It may be more detrimental to one’s situation than helpful.
The adverse consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction are very serious. If you were arrested for a DUI in Louisiana, there could be strong defense strategies to fight your charges and, potentially, have them dropped. For more information and assistance with DUI defense in Louisiana, the Louisiana criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams can help. Call today to schedule a free consultation at 318-230-7199.