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Challenging a field sobriety test in Illinois

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2022 | DUI

Field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate. Even if you are sober, you can fail the test and end up facing DUI charges in Illinois. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge the field sobriety tests. Keep reading to learn more.

The officer’s test wasn’t administered correctly

There are specific instructions that police officers must follow when administering a field sobriety test. Any deviation from the set specifications could be grounds to challenge the test results. For example, if the officer did not wait long enough for you to complete the walk and turn test or made you take the test on an uneven surface, this could cast doubt on the accuracy of the results.

The officer wasn’t qualified to administer the test

In Illinois, only certified officers are allowed to administer field sobriety tests. If the officer who pulled you over for DUI was not certified, the court could invalidate their results. To challenge this, you will need to provide proof that the officer was not authorized to administer field sobriety tests by obtaining a copy of their certification or by contacting the police department where they work and asking for verification.

The officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over

Probable cause is a legal term that refers to a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. One way to challenge whether or not the officer had probable cause to pull you over is if they claimed you were speeding, but there was no posted speed limit sign on the road.

The officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to ask you to step out of the car

Reasonable suspicion is a lower standard than probable cause, and it refers to a hunch or feeling that a crime has been or is being committed. You can challenge this under the following grounds:

  • If you had not been drinking, but the officer claimed they could smell alcohol on your breath
  • If the officer claims that you were acting suspiciously, but they have no evidence to prove it

If there is any ground you could use to challenge a field sobriety test, ensure to explore it. A DUI charge goes beyond jail terms and fines; it can also affect your ability to get a job, your child custody case, driving rights and more.