Understanding A DUI Stop
You grab your keys, hop into the driver’s seat and get on the road. Soon you notice the red and blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror.
You have been out for some fun, enjoying a few alcoholic beverages and you are now realizing that you could be charged with a DUI.
If you have committed a traffic infraction, an officer will pull you over.
When the officer approaches the window of the vehicle, he will notice if there is an odor of alcohol or drugs from the car, if your eyes are glassy or bloodshot, your speech is slurred or your mannerisms are impaired.
The Field Sobriety Test
With a reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, the officer will ask you to step out of the car and complete a field sobriety test.
A field sobriety test is a series of 3 tests that will be administered by an officer to determine the impairment of the driver and establish probable cause for arrest.
Test one is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test
The officer will observe the driver’s eyes as the driver follows a slowly moving object, usually this is done with a writing utensil or a small flashlight.
Test two is the walk and turn test.
This requires the driver to listen, follow instructions, while performing the simple physical movements. The driver will be asked to take nine steps, heel-to-toe along a straight line, and then turn on one foot and return to the starting position walking along the same straight line heel-to-toe.
The third and final test is the one-leg stand test.
The driver will be asked to stand with one foot approximately six inches off of the ground and then will be directed to count aloud by thousands until the officer directs the driver to place the foot down.
The officer will be looking for indicators of impairment, which include swaying while balancing, use of the arms for balance, hopping to help maintain balance, and placing the foot down for balance.
The officer may also ask you to take a portable breath test to measure your blood alcohol content.
Should you Take the Test
If you are suspected of driving while under the influence, It is important that you speak with an attorney prior to taking any type of test to determine your ability to drive.
If you refuse to take the tests, the officer may place you under arrest and you may be taken to jail.
Knowing your Rights
Within a reasonable amount of time, the arresting officer is required to notify you of your right to talk to an attorney.
It is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to help determine which course of action you should take to help with your situation.
What are the Consequences?
Receiving a DUI is a serious offense and may lead to time in jail, suspension of your license, probation and many other requirements or penalties.
We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it is not the end of the world.
Contact us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.
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