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Defense Strategies For Failed Field Sobriety Tests

Interviewer: I see. What strategy are you going to take with an individual that probably hasn’t done too well during the test? What are you going to ask them, first of all? How are you going to start investigating and looking into the reason as to why they performed that certain way?

Adam Hunt: There are a lot of things I’ll ask. One of the biggest things is what type of ground were they on when they were conducting this test? Was it loose gravel? One of the other factors is whether was it raining or snowing. I’ve had people that were forced to perform the test in like 40, 50 mile-an-hour winds, so I don’t know if anybody could do well under those conditions.

Interviewer: I think also with horizontal gaze specifically or anything that requires a person to get out of the vehicle, there’s also the factor, from my understanding, that could be difficult for someone would be the fact that the police officer may have their lights on still.

Adam Hunt: Right. It might be interfering with their vision, distracting them.

Interviewer: Yeah. What is the strategy like? Do you try to eliminate that factor of the DUI and then go into the other factors first?

Adam Hunt: I guess the biggest thing is to see how the test was conducted and under what conditions. You look at what agency’s doing it. Then you would essentially utilize that for not necessarily trial, but first you’d use it for a potential suppression issue. If they were intoxicated or something and suppression is successful and the judge rules on their behalf, then it never has to go to a trial and later on, those factors could be used in a trial to prove no person could have performed the test in those conditions.

By: Adam Hunt

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