Whatever the reason for being stopped by law enforcement, it can be very intimidating and nerve-wracking. A driving under the influence charge can be even more intimidating, and people have come to be charged with driving under the influence when they have not been driving under the influence of alcohol at all. When being pulled over by a police officer, they may ask that you adhere to a field sobriety test or breathalyzer. Most people do not know, but both can be declined, and you can ask the officer to allow you to take a blood alcohol (BAC) test instead. Individuals may fail field sobriety tests for several reasons other than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There is a possibility that your nerves get the best of you and cause you to trip up while walking the line, or forget the alphabet while saying them backwards, especially if you have never said them backwards before. By taking a blood alcohol content test you can show what exactly is in your system. Field sobriety tests can be failed simply because an officer saw something, or thought they saw something. You could potentially pass a field sobriety test with one officer and if another officer is at the scene, he may say that you failed.
Moreover, prescription medications may have you fail these field sobriety tests as well. You may be as sober as ever, with these medications in your system, and you may fail a field sobriety test just because of the medication. This does not mean you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Studies have also shown that more than 33% of those that are said to have failed a field sobriety test were in fact sober during their test. The medications in your kitchen cabinet may cause dizziness, drowsiness, and even loss of coordination and therefore causes you to lose control of the vehicle you are operating and potentially fail a field sobriety test. There are common medication that you can purchase over the counter that can lead to a failed field sobriety test or even a breathalyzer, these medications include but are not limited to:
- Cold and flu medications like NyQuil or DayQuil,
- Muscle relaxers,
- Cough medication,
- Sleeping aids,
- Anxiety medications
There are also medical conditions that may lead an officer to believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this is why you must be aware of the side effects of any drugs and any medical conditions you may have. Should you or someone you know be charged with a DUI without any influence of any drugs or alcohol, contact a DUI lawyer, like from The Lynch Law Group, to discuss your legal options.