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Can you contest a failed sobriety test?

After a stop for suspected drunk driving, a driver will likely be asked submit to a series of tests administered by law enforcement in order to determine the potential impairment of a driver. A failed sobriety test can ultimately result in arrest and charges of drunk driving. As with any test subject to human error, it is possible that these test results may be incorrect.

When a Tennessee driver is stopped by police, there are three field sobriety tests that law enforcement may administer, including the walk and turn, one leg stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus. These standardized tests were developed to provide police with a consistent manner by which to detect possible drunk drivers. During the traffic stop, a driver could also be asked to submit to a breath test using a Breathalyzer. Human error and mechanical issues, including improper care of the breath test device, can produce erroneous results. 

Should a Tennessee driver feel that he or she was detained after a faulty test result, or if rights were violated during the administration of the test, the defendant has the legal right to contest any charges resulting from the arrest. With the help of an attorney experienced in DUI defense, it may be possible to have the charges dropped. Any individual facing DUI charges will likely benefit from the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer in order to challenge the charges in an appropriate manner. 

Every defendant has the right to challenge the prosecution's case and may explore every option for a defense. Understandably, a conviction for drunk driving can carry serious consequences. It is important to develop a plan that seeks to protect a one's freedom and right to drive as soon as possible after a failed sobriety test.

Source: nhtsa.gov, "APPENDIX A Standardized Field Sobriety Testing", Accessed on April 21, 2015

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