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Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are a common part of the DUI process and if you have been arrested and charged with DUI, chances are you performed at least one type of field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are used by police officers out in the field to make a quick determination of whether or not a driver is intoxicated. In order to arrest a person for DUI, police officers must first have probable cause to do so, and asking the driver to perform a field sobriety test is one way of obtaining this. If a person performs poorly during a field sobriety test, it may be indicative that they have consumed alcohol and this allows the officer to take the next step to arrest them or give them a blood of breath test.

It is important to note that not all field sobriety tests are accurate ways of determining a person’s sobriety. Sometimes even a completely sober person will have trouble performing the actions required during a field sobriety test, so it is important that your Arapahoe DUI lawyer thoroughly examine the type of field sobriety test you were asked to perform because it may not be able to be used as evidence against you later. The only three tests that can be used as evidence of DUI in court are:

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
The driver is instructed to follow a small object’s line of motion with their eyes. If the driver’s eyes begin to twitch or jerk, it indicates that the driver may be intoxicated.

The Walk and Turn Test
The driver is instructed to walk in a straight line, taking nine heel-to-toe steps, and repeat the same action in the opposite direction. The officer is looking to see if the driver follows directions and is able to walk in a straight line without losing balance.

The One Leg Stand Test
The driver is instructed to raise one foot approximately 6 inches off the ground and count out loud for about thirty seconds. Swaying, hopping, or using arms to maintain balance are signs of intoxication.

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The Law Office of Christopher H. Cessna - Arapahoe County DUI Attorney
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Phone: (303) 720-7280