Howard County DUI Field Sobriety Tests
When a driver is pulled over for a suspected DUI, there may be a few tests that the officer will ask them to perform to test their level of impairment. There are three standardized field sobriety tests in Howard County for DUIs. There is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is a test to check coordination and the trackability and the fluttering of a person’s eyes. There is the walk and turn test, which looks for different clues of impairment as a person performs a test and finally, there is the walk and turn test which looks for four specific clues or indicators of impairment. There is also a one-leg stand test. For more on what these tests entail, contact a qualified DUI attorney.
What Is the One-Leg Stand Test?
The one-leg stand test a Howard County field sobriety test in which an individual is instructed to keep both legs straight, lift one foot off the ground, six to eight inches and keep the foot parallel to the ground, keep their arms to the side and count from 1001 up until the officer tells the person to stop. The four factors they look for is whether the person puts their foot down, if they hop, if they ever make a mistake in counting or stop counting, or whether they are swaying, weaving or using their arms for balance during the course of the test.
Process of Administration
The officer has to instruct the driver and show the person how to perform the tests before they submit to it and it has to be on a flat level surface without obstruction or debris. They have to ask the individual whether they have any medical problems or if they have an inability to perform the test, things of that nature to make sure that what they are testing is accurate.
Weight of Tests at DUI Trial
The Howard County field sobriety tests are used to ascertain whether the officer has enough basis to arrest somebody. If somebody is arrested, goes back to the station and blows a 0.15 BAC level, then they are going to be found guilty just by virtue of having the 0.15. The test becomes inconsequential.
However, if there is no test, if the person refuses the breath test, but does the field sobriety test, then they have to use the test to try to establish that the poor performance was because of impairment. That is how they can come into play.
Also, if somebody does relatively well in a test, then they can argue that they did well enough but the officer did not have sufficient basis to arrest them and that requires suppression of all the evidence because it is an illegal arrest regardless of what they may have blown back at the station.
Refusing to Perform Field Sobriety Tests
In any circumstance, an individual can refuse to perform a Howard County field sobriety test in a DUI situation. No one can be forced to take the field sobriety test. They can be asked, offered and the person can say no and that is their prerogative. A DUI attorney can better explain the role of field sobriety tests in the process of a DUI. Call today to better understand the circumstances.