Challenging a DUI after failed sobriety test


If a Kentucky police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop, it might be several minutes before you become aware of the reason for the stop. If the officer approaches your window and mentions that he or she tracked you traveling at an excessive speed on a radar gun, then the reason is undoubtedly clear. However, if the officer asks you to exit your vehicle, this might mean that you’re suspected of DUI, in which case the traffic stop might end with an arrest.  

The officer might ask you to take a field sobriety test. If you fail, he or she may arrest you for suspected DUI. Understanding these tests and knowing your rights ahead of time may be the key to challenging DUI evidence in court.  

Were you asked if you had a medical condition or injury? 

A possible defense strategy to refute DUI charges in Kentucky is to challenge the results of a field sobriety test as evidence or to cite a personal rights violation that may have occurred during a traffic stop. For instance, there are many medical conditions or past injuries that may impede your ability to perform well on a walk-and-turn test, a one-leg stance test or a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is an eye test.  

A police officer is supposed to ask whether you’re aware of any pre-existing condition or injury that might interfere with your ability to perform a specific test. If the officer did not give you an opportunity to state such issues, then you took a field sobriety test and failed, you might want to consider challenging the evidence in court as part of your defense strategy.  

Did you take a horizontal gaze nystagmus test while wearing contact lenses? 

If you failed a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is a test where you must track an object left to right or vertically, using only your eyes, not your head, the fact that you failed the test is probable cause to arrest you for suspected DUI. It’s a known fact, however, that wearing contact lenses can interfere with performance on this type of field sobriety test.  

By informing a police officer that you’re wearing contacts, even if he or she did not ask, this information must be documented and could come in handy as part of your defense, if you wind up facing DUI charges in a Kentucky court. It’s a bit scary that you can fail a field sobriety test and end up in police custody for DUI, even if you were sober at the time. However, it has happened many times in the past.  

Know your rights and how to protect them 

Defense against DUI charges actually begins before you take a field sobriety test. In fact, you are not obligated to comply with a request to take such a test. You may refuse. If you do, you can bet that, if you ultimately face drunk driving charges, a prosecutor may tell the court that you refused to take a sobriety test as a means of trying to incriminate you.  

Whether you take a field sobriety test or decline the request, the opportunity to present a defense when facing DUI charges in Kentucky is a guarantee. Most defendants begin the process of building a strong defense by reaching out for legal support soon after their arrest.  

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