Anyone who has been pulled over for drunk driving knows that it can be a stressful experience. An officer might pull someone over for a violation assuming they are intoxicated and wind up being wrong, but it is better safe than sorry. If you feel that an officer is overstepping his/her boundaries, you might be right. Below, we outline your rights as a driver and we advise you on the best course of action.
Field Sobriety Tests
Walk and Turn- Also known as walking the line, this test is popular in states all across America. The heel of the driver’s foot must touch the toe of his/her other foot and they must be able to take nine steps in a straight line.
One-Leg Stand- As with all of the other tests, a driver must watch the officer perform the exam before attempting it. The driver will have to stand on one leg and count upwards until the officer feels they have shown proper balance.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus- This is basically the eye test. An officer will hold a pen or object in front of the driver’s face and move it side to side to see how the driver follows it.
Do I Have to Do This?
Field sobriety tests are not required by law, but a breathalyzer will be in some states. A lot of attorneys actually recommend that you don’t take a sobriety test because it can only negatively impact you. Many believe you as the driver have nothing to gain by taking one.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
If you refuse a breathalyzer test you could face serious consequences and possible jail time. DUI/DWI is becoming a more serious crime as time goes on and refusal to partake in a test can be viewed the same way as a negative result– if not worse. These tests can be flawed, but experts recommend taking the exam and then asking for a urine or blood exam when you are brought in. A field test might reveal a higher BAC if you recently had a drink, but a blood or urine exam will yield a more accurate result.
Both urine EtG alcohol testing and hair follicle EtG alcohol testing panels are available. The hair follicle EtG alcohol test is a specialty test and not available at all testing locations. Call National Drug Screening for expert assistance in arranging a hair follicle EtG alcohol testing panel in your local area.
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