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Can you fake your way through a field sobriety test?

There are a lot of myths about field sobriety tests. People pass along these urban legends like they are fact. For example, some people might tell you that sucking on a penny will trick a Breathalyzer test. The science of how these tests work makes it clear that such an attempt to trick the unit will definitely fail.

The idea that you could trick a field sobriety test might make you think that you don’t have to worry about getting pulled over for impaired driving as long as you have prepared. Even if the penny trick doesn’t work, you may think there are tricks and hacks that could help you avoid an arrest. Is it actually possible for someone to strict a field sobriety test?

You could potentially improve your equilibrium

With enough practice, you may be able to improve your physical dexterity despite alcohol impairment. If you repeatedly practice the walk-and-turn test, for example, you might eventually improve your ability to balance and walk neatly while under the influence of alcohol. The same is true for the one-leg stand test.

However, no amount of practice will prevent you from displaying other signs of impairment, such as slurred speech. Additionally, there are tests that you simply cannot trick in the field sobriety test.

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test makes it very difficult to trick

One of the most basic field sobriety tests is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and it is not possible to train or prepare for this test. When you have alcohol in your bloodstream, it exaggerates a natural jerking motion that happens in your eyes when you look to the side. By asking you to follow their finger from side to side, an officer can track the erratic motions of your eyes that indicate alcohol in your bloodstream.

When someone fails a field sobriety test, officers will then use that as grounds to require a chemical breath test. Anyone accused of impaired driving, including those who fail a field sobriety test, still have the right to defend themselves.

There are many ways to defend against driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Missouri. For example, you could challenge the evidence or the way police collected it. The exact details of your arrest will influence what strategy best works for your defense.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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