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Stopped for a DUI? This is What to Expect

Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

Many cases for Driving Under the Influence begins with a regular traffic stop but ends up as a full blown DUI investigation. When this happens, police officers normally request a person perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to determine whether they will make an arrest or not. When this situation occurs, it is important to understand your rights and the consequences of performing or refusing these roadside agility tests. These standardized roadside tests normally consist of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the Walk and Turn test and finally the One Leg Stand. These physical tests are normally followed by a request for a portable breath test (PBT).

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s) is one tool that law enforcement will use to determine whether or not they believe you are impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The first test is normally the “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus,” which tests eye muscles twitching while they move back and forth. This can be used as evidence of consumption and at times impairment.

The “Walk and Turn” is another field test that challenges a person’s agility, balance and ability to remember and follow multiple directions.

The third test is the “One Leg Stand”, which also tests agility, balance and ability to follow multiple directions.

These roadside tests are voluntary and you have the right not to perform them. Be aware that police score these tests quite differently than most would expect and they are hard to pass. For this reason, I normally advise people to politely decline these physical tests, especially if you have any leg, knee or back injuries. Some people will have issues performing these tests due to clothing or improper shoes. These factors can cause false positive results on these roadside tests.

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