When the police pull someone over, it can be a moment filled with anxiety and confusion. The situation can become even more serious if the officer decides to administer field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. These tests are tools used by law enforcement to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
But what happens when these results become part of the evidence in a courtroom? Field sobriety and breathalyzer tests in court can play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a case. In fact, for a criminal defense lawyer in Riverside, these tests are often the first pieces of evidence they analyze when building a defense strategy.
Here is what you need to know about the role of breathalyzer and field sobriety tests in court.
Specific Errors in Breathalyzer Calibration
Breathalyzer tests are used by law enforcement to measure if a driver is intoxicated. But, these tests can sometimes give false results if not handled correctly. One common problem is improper calibration. This means the device may not be set up correctly to get accurate readings.
Breathalyzers need to be calibrated to ensure they can measure the alcohol in a person’s breath accurately. It’s like trying to use a broken scale; it won’t give accurate results if they’re not. A breathalyzer that’s not calibrated correctly can overestimate the level of alcohol, suggesting that a person is more intoxicated than they are.
For anyone facing DUI charges, these inaccuracies can lead to serious consequences. This is why it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Riverside who understands these potential errors.
Medical Conditions and Field Sobriety Tests
Certain health conditions can affect the results of field sobriety tests, making a sober person appear intoxicated. For instance, neurological disorders, physical injuries, or certain medications can impact a person’s balance, speech, or ability to follow instructions – all factors evaluated during these tests.
- Neurological Disorders: Conditions like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can affect a person’s balance and coordination. These symptoms might be mistaken for signs of intoxication during a field sobriety test.
- Physical Injuries: Injuries to the leg or foot can affect a person’s ability to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line – common components of field sobriety tests.
- Certain Medications: Some medications can cause drowsiness or slow reaction times. This might be mistaken for intoxication during a field sobriety test.
- Age and Fatigue: Older age and extreme fatigue can affect a person’s balance and coordination, which could influence the results of a field sobriety test.
A criminal defense lawyer in Riverside is aware of these conditions and can challenge the validity of test results if these factors were not considered during the sobriety test’s administration.
Statistical Reliability of Sobriety Tests
The statistical reliability of sobriety tests is crucial as it directly impacts the outcome of DUI cases. However, it’s important to understand that they are not always 100% accurate. Errors can occur due to various factors, such as improper calibration of breathalyzers or overlooking medical conditions, leading to incorrect results. Questioning the reliability of these tests can play a significant role in a strong defense strategy.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Riverside Today!
Are you facing DUI charges? If so, don’t go through this experience alone. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Riverside today!