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Disputing field sobriety test results

Operating a vehicle intoxicated is against the law in Ohio. If law enforcement pulls you over and requests that you take a field sobriety test, you can refuse. Unfortunately, the consequences of declining may include spending the night in jail. At The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc, we have experience representing clients who challenge the results of these tests.

Field Sobriety Tests report that there are three standardized tests law enforcement typically use to ascertain OVI: horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn and the one leg stand. These tests require that you complete simple tasks in an unfamiliar way and environment. Experts disagree about the reliability of these measures. Many believe they are subjective and do not establish proof of intoxication.

Although law enforcement receives training in the proper administrative procedures, they are not medical professionals. Conditions such as being overweight, leg injuries and inner ear infections can cause a test failure. The goal of field sobriety tests is to establish impaired driving. If you have any of these or other medical conditions, test results may be inadmissible.

Field sobriety test administration often occurs after dark, usually on the side of the road, near passing traffic. Such circumstances can result in hesitant completion of tasks, increasing the likelihood of failing the tests. Officers must comply with legal procedures regarding the administration of these tests; deviation from the guidelines may render the test inadmissible in court. Under these circumstances, you may contest the results and have your case dismissed. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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