Driving under the influence is taken very seriously in West Virginia. Police often pull over drivers they suspect of DUI and instruct them to take field sobriety tests.
What are field sobriety tests?
Field sobriety tests are used by police officers to determine whether a driver might be under the influence. They consist of myriad activities to check a person’s balance, coordination, and ability to follow instructions.
What are the different field sobriety tests used?
There are three different types of field sobriety tests used to measure a person’s potential intoxication. Police often use the horizontal gaze nystagmus, which involves testing the natural movements of the eye. The officer looks for any exaggerated movements of the eyeball that indicates that the person might be under the influence. The police officer uses their finger or an object and moves it from side to side while the driver follows those movements.
The walk and turn test is performed by taking nine steps while walking heel to toe in a straight line. The officer will then instruct the person to turn on one foot and come back taking nine steps in the opposite direction. To measure for a possible DUI, the police officer notes the person’s balance ability, whether they need to use their arms to stay balanced if they cannot walk heel to toe, whether they take the correct number of steps and whether they’re able to follow the instructions.
The one-leg stand test is measured as the police officer requires the driver to stand with one foot six includes off the ground while counting. The officer notes how well the person balances, keeps their foot up, and more. If they slip up and lose their balance and put their foot down, it may indicate that they’re under the influence.
Field sobriety tests aren’t always accurate, nor are they always conducted properly. Certain medical conditions, age, and other factors can cause you to fail one even if you don’t have any alcohol or drugs in your system. Protect your rights and fight back.