Our San Francisco DUI Attorney Discusses Failed Sobriety Tests

Posted on September 25, 2015

Failed Sobriety Test

A San Francisco DUI attorney can explain that even sober people fail so-called “sobriety tests.” These tests must be carried out in a precise manner in order to provide accurate results. Often, law enforcement officers may not closely follow standard procedures, which can cause inaccurate results. There are several reasons why people may fail sobriety tests which have no correlation with intoxication.

Road Conditions

A San Francisco DUI attorney can explain that many sobriety tests ask people who have been stopped to stand, walk or hop on the ground. However, these tasks can be difficult for people who are not even intoxicated. Road conditions may cause a person to slip or walk off a line due to indentations in the ground, potholes or inadequate lighting.


Individuals who drive and then are stopped by law enforcement may not be wearing proper footwear to adequately perform field sobriety tests. For example, individuals may be wearing high heels, boots or other footwear that makes it difficult to complete common field sobriety tests. A San Francisco DUI attorney may inquire into the type of footwear that you were wearing at the time of your stop.

Medical Condition

A person’s medical condition can also cause him or her to fail a field sobriety test even when completely sober. Taking medicine may cause slurred speech. Other medications may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Inner ear infections and other medical conditions can adversely affect a person’s ability to adequately balance. Older individuals may have difficulty walking or performing other tests that require gross motor skills.

Language Difficulty

A San Francisco DUI attorney can explain that many field sobriety tests require a language element in order to detect slurred speech, problems concentrating or other indications of intoxication. However, individuals whose first language is not English, who have a speech impediment or who struggle with literacy may perform poorly on a field sobriety test due to language difficulty rather than intoxication.

Legal Assistance from a San Francisco DUI Attorney

If you would like more information on this topic, watch the following video. If you still have questions, contact a San Francisco DUI attorney from Silveira Law by calling (415) 795-3890.