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How roadside sobriety tests can be challenged

Indiana has strict laws on the books concerning OWI; a first offense can result in a license suspension of 180 days. Additionally, since Indiana is an implied consent state, refusing a breathalyzer test can result in even more severe penalties.

Many assume they have no hope when arrested for an OWI. However, there are ways to fight these charges. It is recommended to hire an attorney when the case is going to court, but it is good for people to be aware of how common field sobriety tests can be designed for failure.

Neurologic or physical conditions of the drivers

Many field tests conducted by police officers are to see if the driver has a basic level of coordination. A typical test is for an officer to ask a person to stand on one leg for a certain amount of time. The problem with this test is that a person with an uneven equilibrium, such as someone with an inner ear infection, may be slightly off-balance.

Another common test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus. This is when a police officer asks for someone to use his or her eyes to follow an object. However, if the driver experienced a neurological injury in the past, it could affect the results of the test.

Officer conducted test inaccurately

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has various guidelines for how each field sobriety test should be conducted. In the event an officer veers slightly from these guidelines, that can be brought up in a court of law.

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has only approved a few tests that can be conducted. For instance, the horizontal gaze nystagmus and one-leg stand are approved in addition to the walk and turn. If the officer requested a test not provided within the NHTSA’s guidelines, then it would not hold up in court.

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