Once you suspected of driving under the influence, whether it’s during the day or night or during a checkpoint, you will more than likely be asked to perform a Riverside DUI field sobriety test. These standardized tests are designed to provide arresting officers with a probable cause to administer a breath test or to make a DUI arrest.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set up specific guidelines to ensure that these tests are more accurate and can allow officers to determine whether a motorist is in fact intoxicated. Our DUI defense attorneys have been trained by the NHTSA so that we can investigate your DUI arrest and ensure that the tests administered were done in a correct manner.
Officers will ask a motorist to raise one leg six inches off the ground and count out loud until you’re told to stop. During this sobriety test, you must look down, keep your toe pointed and your arms at your side. You could fail this test if you stop the test early, put your foot down, and raise your arms or loose balance.
This field sobriety test should be explained and demonstrated to you before you start. You will be required to take nine heel-to-toe steps on a line, whether it’s drawn out or not, and then pivot on your front foot before walking back all while counting out loud. If you step off the line, lose your balance or do not take the correct number of steps, you could fail this test.
This test, also known as the HGN test, is one of the only tests considered to be scientific as it has 77-88% reliability. Nystagmus is an involuntary eye jerk that occurs when an individual consumes alcohol. For this test, an officer will ask you to keep your head still and follow an object with your eyes; if an officer notices specific clues that determine nystagmus, you will fail this test. Because there are a few individuals who may suffer from nystagmus naturally, it is recommended that you have an attorney investigating the DUI field sobriety tests to make sure they were done correctly.
Officers may administer non-standardized tests that include standing with your feet together and tipping your head backwards, counting the number of fingers an officer shows with their hand(s), reciting the alphabet or a specific portion of it, counting backwards, and doing a finger-to-nose test or even a hand-pat test.
Contact our defense attorneys as soon as you are arrested for driving under the influence, especially if you have failed a DUI field sobriety test in Riverside. There are many factors that are required to make the sobriety tests legal; only an experienced drunk driving lawyer will be able to investigate whether the arrest was down lawfully.