Although it may be easy to catch an intoxicated driver once he or she has caused an accident, the hope is to be able to stop impaired drivers before they hurt themselves and others. This is why police are trained to recognize signs of potential driver intoxication. If an officer believes your driving could indicate that you’ve had one too many drinks, he can pull you over and administer several tests to judge whether or not you are legally intoxicated.
Field Sobriety Tests to Be Aware of
Although police officers have the right to administer field sobriety tests if you showed signs of impairment while driving, they don’t have the right to pull you over without just cause. If you were obeying traffic laws and driving safely, you should not be pulled over.
In addition, although they have the right to ask you to take certain sobriety tests, they cannot force you. Most sobriety tests are voluntary, although refusing to participate could be used against you as evidence of guilt. This is why it is important to not only know what types of tests to expect, but also your rights when it comes to testing. Common field sobriety tests include:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (eye movement) test
- Rhomberg balance test
- Walk and turn
- Standing on one leg
- Finger to nose
None of these tests can irrefutably prove alcohol or drug impairment and failure of any one of them could have an explanation that does not involve driver impairment. If you are being charged with DUI based on one of these field sobriety tests, please call us directly at 703-865-6610. We’ll be happy to discuss all of your concerns and driving rights.