If you are enjoying a night out with friends, and determine you have had too much alcohol to drink in order to drive home safely, you may decide to rely on a transportation service to provide your ride home. However, even if you imbibe only a glass of wine with dinner, it's no guarantee you won't run into trouble when driving home later. In fact, there are people who have faced serious legal problems when police accuse them of drunk driving and they did not consume alcohol.
As surprising as it may seem, other things can cause your breath to register as alcohol if you take a Breathalyzer test. In addition to this type of electronic device, a police officer may ask you to perform one, or even several, field sobriety tests during a traffic stop. If this happens, you can reasonably assume that you are going to face several legal challenges in your near future.
What to know about field sobriety tests
There are several types of field sobriety tests. Although individual wording or processing of these tests may vary, there are typically standard guidelines that most police officers follow. The following list explains the most common types of field sobriety tests, along with what to expect if a law enforcement officer asks you to submit to one or more of them:
- The walk-and-turn test is the field sobriety test most often requested. You will need to be fairly coordinated to perform this test as it involves walking a straight line with the heel of your one foot at the toes of you other while holding your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. If you are a clumsy person, this may be challenging even if you did not drink any alcohol.
- A police officer may also ask you to stand on one foot and count aloud while doing so. This type of test may seem random; however, the officer is checking whether you are coherent enough to follow simple instructions and perform several simple tasks at once.
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a very complex term for a test that involves tracking your eye movements. An intoxicated person tends to have very erratic eye movements when trying to track an object from side to side or up and down.
If a police officer determines that you have not sufficiently performed any or all filed sobriety tests given, you may wind up facing DUI charges in court. Fortunately, being accused of a crime does not constitute guilt. You will have the opportunity to present as strong a defense as possible.
Asserting your legal rights
It is crucial to note that if a police officer asks you to step out of your vehicle you are being detained. You may request immediate legal representation before doing anything else. Most Kansas motorists charged with DUI turn to experienced criminal defense attorneys to help them overcome any obstacles that arise in court. In fact, aggressive defense representation often helps people avoid convictions.