If law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, testing will likely be the next step in the arrest process.
Will the outcome of your case depend on the tests you take? Could the results leave you wrongly accused of DUI?
Failing the field sobriety tests
If a law enforcement officer asks you to take the field sobriety tests, you may wish to refuse, and you might have good reason. There are three tests: the Walk and Turn, the One-Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. The tests are subjective and two different officers could come up with two different scores. It is all about perception. Among many other issues, if you have a disability or diabetes, if you are taking medications for a heart ailment or are more than 50 pounds overweight, you might very well fail the tests and should decline to take them.
Announcing breath test problems
Breath test devices can fail. Case in point: In the summer of 2016, an attorney informed the Philadelphia police department that there was a problem with their breathalyzer machines: The solution that determined the accuracy of BAC tests had expired. The police had to take every machine offline in order to correct the issue. The attorney pointed out that the expired solution could make breath test results inadmissible in court, which in turn, could affect the outcome of DUI cases for the first six months of the year.
Keeping a positive outlook
In Pennsylvania, the penalties for even a first-time DUI conviction are stiff, and, if charged, your best course of action is to seek legal guidance promptly. Remember that the outcome of your case may turn on test results. However, errors can occur, and a good defense strategy will bring those errors to light.