Criminal Defense Lawyers & Police Misconduct Attorneys

Top 8 Reasons Why Sober People Fail Field Sobriety Tests – Insights from a New York City False Arrest Lawyer

Field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate. Even sober people fail them.

New York City DWI lawyers Goldberg and Allen

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, New York law enforcement is gearing up to identify drunk drivers. Unfortunately, honest people make mistakes, and if you wind up on the wrong side of the law, then it is important that you understand the ins and outs of sobriety tests.

New York is an implied consent state. If you drive a vehicle, then you automatically consent to a breathalyzer. You have the right to refuse, but your license will be suspended automatically.

However, you have every right to refuse field sobriety tests. These are often subjective, and you should never submit to them. Factors outside of your control can cause you to fail – even if you have not consumed alcohol.

If New York police arrest you for DWI, then contact Goldberg & Allen, LLP. A New York City DWI attorney will evaluate your charges and aggressively fight for a positive outcome to your case.

Call 212-766-3366 to start planning your defense. You can also visit to learn more about DWI laws in New York.

Read on to learn the top eight reasons why sober people fail field sobriety tests:

  1. Poor Test Administration

According to the New York State Police Recruitment Center, police undergo specific DWI enforcement training to ensure they administer sobriety tests correctly. Unfortunately, they often get it wrong in the field. Incorrect administration can influence test results.

  1. Back Problems

Back pain can make it impossible to pass certain sobriety tests. Standing on one leg or walking in a straight line can be challenging for sober people with back problems.

  1. Knee Problems

People with knee problems may also have difficulty passing these tests. This is why officers are supposed to ask suspects if they have medical conditions that could affect their performance.

  1. Obesity

According to training manuals for police recruits in most states, an obese driver is not a good candidate for the majority of field sobriety tests. Breathalyzers are more appropriate.

  1. Old Age

Police should not ask drivers who are older than 65 to take field sobriety tests. If an officer administers these tests to a senior citizen, then the court may drop the charges. Various medicines, health problems and other age-related influences can affect the results.

  1. Fatigue

Most DWI arrests happen at night, often when suspects are tired. Fatigue can affect agility and balance. It can also cause bloodshot eyes.

  1. Anxiety

Anxiety is normal when facing possible arrest. Being too nervous can affect your performance on field sobriety tests.

  1. Confusion

For people who are not familiar with them, sobriety tests can seem confusing, ambiguous and overwhelming. The officer also may not explain the instructions clearly, which can affect the suspect’s performance.

Even if you fail a field sobriety test – or a breathalyzer for that matter – there may be a defense that could work in your favor. A New York City DWI attorney from Goldberg & Allen, LLP can structure a defense based on the unique facts of your case. Call 212-766-3366 to schedule a consultation.


By |2017-08-31T17:43:34+00:00January 14th, 2016|Blog, Criminal Attorney|Comments Off on Top 8 Reasons Why Sober People Fail Field Sobriety Tests – Insights from a New York City False Arrest Lawyer

About the Author: