You may have seen the lights flashing in your rearview mirror, heard the sirens and been signaled by authorities to pull over to the side of the road. You may have been part of a routine traffic stop for speed or other minor traffic infraction. Or, you could have been pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving. Often, the officer may conduct specific procedures, one of which is the field sobriety test.
Field sobriety tests, sometimes called roadside sobriety tests, are used by law enforcement to enforce DUI laws and usually precede Breathalyzer tests. These tests are used as a way for the officer to measure a person's sobriety by measuring balance, physical ability, attention level, or other factors that the officer may use to determine whether the suspect is driving under the influence. If and when a Sacramento resident is charged with DUI/DWI, the results of a field sobriety test may be used as evidence against them. The results of sobriety tests can grant officers probable cause to arrest a person suspected of DUI/DWI.
There are several standardized field sobriety tests an officer may decide to utilize during a traffic stop. These tests are meant to be conducted in a certain way; the method is important to ensure there is no bias or human error in the process. However, there are also non-standardized tests that authorities may utilize when testing for sobriety. Beyond field sobriety tests, a breathalyzer test may also be used to prove or disprove sobriety.
You or a loved one may have never thought that you would be the subject of a field sobriety test or accused of DUI/DWI. However, it has happened to thousands in the Sacramento area. Whether accused of being just above the legal limit or further past that, everyone has the right to defend themselves and tell their side of the story. Field sobriety tests are not a sole indication of impairment.
Source: FindLaw, "Field Sobriety Tests," Accessed Dec. 4, 2017