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What factors might influence field sobriety test accuracy?

Most people in New Mexico know the feeling of fear that can come over them when they look and see flashing police lights in their rear-view mirror while driving. Even if a driver has not done anything wrong or has only committed a minor infraction, the thought of being approached by a police officer can be scary. This type of fear may contribute to even more extreme anxiety for some people.

Anxiety is one of the types of health factors that might make it difficult for a person to successfully pass some of the field tests used by officers during a drunk driving investigation. According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, there are actually a variety of health conditions that can interfere with your ability to execute the tasks requested during these tests. Someone with anxiety might find it all but impossible to balance properly during the one-leg stand test and for the walk-and-turn test, for example.

Excess weight along with soft tissue or joint problems in your legs or feet can also contribute to challenges balancing. As a person ages, maintaining balance may also become harder. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test may be a problem for people with some neurological conditions that may produce an eye jerk similar to what happens after a person has consumed alcohol.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in New Mexico an overview of the things that may prevent them from passing a field sobriety test even if they have not been drinking alcohol. 

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