Which tests are most likely at an OUI traffic stop? How can you defend yourself?

| Aug 25, 2020 | OUI |

An OUI traffic stop is a stop made in Massachusetts because an officer believes that you are driving while impaired or that you have violated another traffic law. With this stop, the goal is to take dangerous drivers off the road, so the officer will use several field sobriety tests to determine if you’re intoxicated or impaired.

There are four tests used most often during these stops. These include:

  • A Breathalyzer test
  • A walk-and-turn test
  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test
  • The one-leg stand test

Each of the above tests can be used to show that you are impaired or intoxicated. They are not all accurate on their own, however.

For example, a Breathalyzer test could be inaccurate if the test isn’t administered correctly, if you don’t wait long enough between your last drink and the test, if you burp, and under many other circumstances. Similarly, the walk-and-turn, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus and one-leg stand tests can be failed even by those who are sober.

Take, for instance, the one-leg stand test. If you suffer from vertigo, it may be hard for you to balance. Similarly, other medical conditions may make it hard for you to perform the test.

Neurological issues can affect the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, leading to failure. So can some eye-related disorders.

Finally, physical or neurological issues can make the walk-and-turn test difficult. Problems with balance, sight or trouble walking can all lead to failing the test.

It’s your right to defend yourself against allegations of driving while intoxicated. Some methods of doing so may include:

  • Showing that you have a medical condition that resulted in the failure of the tests
  • Providing evidence that you were not impaired or had not been drinking
  • Showing that the Breathalyzer test was not calibrated or that it was not administered correctly

Field sobriety tests are subjective. Different officers may come up with varied opinions, even when they look at the same case.

It’s a good idea to defend yourself, because these tests aren’t 100% accurate. A good defense can help protect you against a conviction that could have lasting implications in your life. Your attorney can help you create a defense that works for your situation.