How You Could Fail a Field Sobriety Test Without Being Drunk

There are a number of reasons why someone could be completely sober and still fail a field sobriety test. The following is a list of the most common reasons:

  1. Bad knees
  2. If you have bad knees, you may have trouble completing the one-leg stand test and the walk and turn test even if you are sober. The officer is supposed to ask you if you have any existing medical conditions before he administers the test, but they often skip that part.

  3. Bad Back
  4. You may also have trouble with the one-leg test and the walk and turn test if you have a bad back.

  5. Nervousness
    A field sobriety test can be a very stressful situation for most people. It can be very difficult to concentrate on a dexterity test when cars are zipping by and you know that if you fail, you will be arrested.

  6. Overweight
    According to the Massachusetts police training manual, you should not be given a field sobriety test if you are at least 50 lbs overweight.

  7. Aged 65 or Older
    As with overweight people, the manual says people over age 65 should not be given a field sobriety test either.

  8. Tired
    If the officer pulls you over in the middle of the night or you've been driving for 12 hours straight, you will likely be pretty tired. Your ability to focus on a dexterity test will likely be impaired, even if you are sober.

  9. Improperly Administered Test
    The Massachusetts police training manual outlines specific instructions for conducting a field sobriety test. If the officer does not comply with these instructions (ie. asks you to walk an imaginary line or balance on one foot on a slope) then a sober person could still fail these tests.

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