Utah police officers are trained to look for certain behaviors when it comes to determining when a driver is driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. The problem is that the existence of those behaviors does not always mean that an individual is impaired. Sadly, individuals are often arrested for DUI based on field sobriety tests and observations that are subjective and unreliable.
For example, a woman was recently taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. She came into contact with officers after being rear-ended in traffic. The officer believed that her erratic behavior was the result of being under the influence of a then unidentified substance. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and based on her failure of those tests, she was arrested.
The problem was that the woman was merely shaken by the accident. Blood tests revealed that she did not have any drugs or alcohol in her system, which highlights the fact that field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable. Sober individuals fail the same tests for a variety of emotional and physical reasons.
This is why any Utah resident who is arrested for DUI based on failing these tests should not simply accept the fate before him or her. A criminal defense attorney should be brought in to review the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop, subsequent contact with officers and the arrest. If an individual’s physical or emotional limitations were not taken into consideration or the tests were improperly administered, any charges that were filed could be dismissed.
Source: reason.com, “Utah Cop Arrests Shaken but Sober Car Crash Victim for DUI“, Jacob Sullum, Oct. 13, 2016