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Addressing Poor DUI Field Sobriety Test Results

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Because you performed poorly in your field sobriety test does not mean your DUI case is lost. Your DUI lawyer has several methods to challenge the field test, such as asking a juror to empathize with your situation.

Making jurors identify with your situation

If you have taken the field sobriety tests, your DUI lawyer should ask the jurors to think about and then come up with possible reasons for your poor performance. In fact, the conditions under which such tests are performed at the roadside and the DUI defendants’ nervous state can often skew the test result. As the jurors who are asked questions in court during voir dire experience the defendant’s tension and nervousness at the time of the test, asking the juries to contemplate the defendant’s human error may lead them to empathize with the DUI defendant.

Exchange with jurors on field sobriety tests

Your lawyer can do this by asking a particular juror whether he could perform the field tasks administered, and explain the answer. He may engage in the following exchange.

Q: Mr. Smith, if I asked you to leave the jury box and stand on one leg for 30 seconds, would you be able to do so?

A: Yes.

Q: Could you do so at the side of the road late at night, with two police officers observing you?

A: I think so.

Q: Can you explain how?

A: If I’m not drunk and healthy, I should be able to do it.

If the juror answers that he or she would be able to do the test well, the DUI attorney will pose the same question to the other jurors, and will ask them to explain why they agree or disagree.

A DUI lawyer will ask questions that are tailored for different kinds of field sobriety tests. For balance tests, he may ask: “If you were responsible for creating a test that would gauge a person’s normal ability to balance, would you require the subject stare down at their feet while balancing on one leg, or look forward?” For the walk and turn, he may ask: “If you had to create a test that would measure a person’s ability to walk normally, would it be best for the subject walk with their arms remaining at their sides, or with their arms stretched out?”

Kent DUI lawyer Kim Hunter is ready to represent any DUI defendant looking for proven legal representation for their DUI case. For a free initial consultation, please call her law offices at 253-709-5050. Ms. Hunter practices law in Tacoma, Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Normandy Park , Pacific, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sea Tac , Sumner, Tukwila; King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties.

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