The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

Drunk Driving Lawyer Questions Validity of Field Sobriety Tests

A New Hampshire man was arrested in April on a DWI charge, but recently got off with a lesser offense because of his body type. Now many residents in Los Angeles and people all across the country are questioning the validity of field sobriety tests. 

Jaimil Choudhry, 20, of North Hampton stands at 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds, which meets the clinical definition of obesity. While police believed Choudhry to be intoxicated at the time of his arrest, drunk driving lawyer Andrew Cotrupi argued that his client shouldn't have been given particular field sobriety tests because of his obesity.

Cotrupi said Choudhry's obesity was a significant factor that prevented him from completing the field sobriety test as expected, where Choudhry was not able to balance on one leg the night of his arrest, due to his weight.

Choudhry's drunk driving lawyer was able to negotiate with the prosecutors, so that Choudhry would only be charged with a violation of reckless operation instead of a DWI. Choudhry pleaded guilty to the charge and agreed to pay a $500 fine and surrender his license for 60 days.

While Choudhry's case isn't common, it shows that there are valid forms of defense to field sobriety tests. There are probably obese people in Los Angeles that drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. Should we drop the DUI charges for those suspects? All it takes is a skilled Los Angeles drunk driving lawyer to come up with a creative defense, and those drunk drivers may get off on lenient charges.