DUI fatalities are a serious problem in the United States. While DUI is an important problem, DUI conviction rates vary tremendously based on a variety of factors. The most important of these factors include whether or not a breathalyzer test was performed, and what the outcome was, whether the subject passed a field sobriety test, which judge is assigned to a case, and quality of legal representation. It turns out that in almost every cases, a breathalyzer test will yield a result that is significantly higher than a far more accurate blood alcohol test. Because breathalyzer test results are so variable, they can result in the conviction of an innocent person for driving under the influence. This is why some people refuse breathalyzer tests altogether when stopped for suspected DUI. If the field sobriety test does not indicate impairment, but breathalyzer results indicate a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, it’s important to seek the help of a qualified attorney to avoid wrongful conviction. People who fail field sobriety tests face very high DUI conviction rates. Some typical field sobriety tests include standing on one foot for up to a few seconds; walking heel to toe in a straight line, and a horizontal gaze test, which involves following a pen light with the eyes. In some cases, people with specific illnesses, disabilities, or impairments may fail these tests, even when not under the influence. In addition to a particular judge’s approach to DUI cases, the skill and knowledge of a lawyer are crucially important. A lawyer should know the ins and outs of the different evidentiary rules and procedures, which tests are more likely to yield false results, and other mitigating factors.
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