A drunk driving conviction can be devastating for any person. Not only can you lose your driving privileges, you can also be sentenced to jail and be saddled with a criminal conviction.
Considering all that is at stake, it is crucial that you take seriously your legal right to defend yourself if you are charged with drunk driving in Tennessee. One way to do this is to challenge the tests that contributed to your conviction in the first place. In many cases, these tests are flawed.
As we discussed previously in this blog post, breath test results can be inaccurate if the equipment is not maintained or calibrated properly, or if police fail to administer tests correctly.
Other types of sobriety testing are limited and flawed as well. Field sobriety tests, for instance, are far from perfect. These are the roadside tests police can conduct if they have reason to suspect intoxication during a traffic stop.
During field sobriety tests, police assess things like balance, ability to divide attention, ability to follow direction and eye movement. Intoxication can compromise all of these behaviors and movements.
However, there is no hard-and-fast rule for what passing or failing looks like; performance of these tests is subjective.
It is also important to note that factors outside of intoxication can cause someone to fail. Allergies can make someone’s eyes watery and red; mobility issues and ear infections can make it impossible to balance on one leg; learning disorders can negatively affect a person’s ability to listen to and follow directions properly.
Considering all the ways these tests can be flawed, it is not surprising that many drivers refuse to take them. While this decision can come with consequences like a suspended license, it can also minimize the information available to build a case for drunk driving.
If police pull you over and arrest you for a DUI in Tennessee, it is crucial that you understand your legal rights to refuse or challenge testing, consult an attorney and scrutinize the evidence against you. With legal guidance and an aggressive defense, you can protect yourself and your future from the damage of a DUI conviction.