If You've Recently Suffered A Concussion, Passing A Field Sobriety Test Would Be Difficult
The police believe that a sober person should be able to pass a field sobriety test with ease, while someone who is under the influence of alcohol's impairment would be evident during this test. This theory may be applicable in lots of cases, but there are also a lot of factors that can cause a sober person to struggle with this test. If you've been pulled over under suspicion of DUI and have recently suffered a concussion — perhaps while playing a sport or during a workplace injury — there's a considerable chance that the field sobriety test will be difficult for you. Here are some issues that you'll have.
Challenges With Eye Tracking
One of the simplest tasks in a field sobriety test is for you to stand still and track the police officer's pen or finger as he or she moves it in front of your face. This is something that intoxicated people struggle with, but it can also pose a challenge if you're dealing with the side effects of a concussion. Those who have suffered this head injury often have eye troubles; it can be difficult to focus on something, especially if it's moving. You may fail to follow the finger or pen and may even lose your balance as you try. The police officer will take these cues as signs that you've been drinking, even if you haven't.
Difficulty With Balance Drills
Balance drills are another central component of the field sobriety test. Tasks such as standing on one foot with the other elevated, walking along a straight line in a heel-to-toe manner, and other similar assignments are all measures that a police officer uses to gauge your degree of impairment. Concussion patients are apt to struggle with each of these tasks, given their difficult with balance. If you've had a concussion recently, you know that even walking can be enough to make you stumble. Your ability to perform specific balance tasks is highly unlikely.
Shortcomings With Verbal Tasks
People who have suffered concussions will often experience a type of brain fog that makes it difficult to concentrate. It's probable that you'd fail any verbal tasks that the police officer gives you during a field sobriety test. This could include counting backward from one number to another, or reciting the alphabet backward. If you've failed a field sobriety test and received a DUI charge, but you believe that your struggles were directly linked to your concussion, talk to a DUI attorney, like Angela L Walker PC, and be prepared to provide medical records that prove your injury.