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Field Sobriety Tests

Posted on:1/5/2012
When a police officer stops a vehicle on suspicion of DUI, he or she will observe the driver for signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, reddish eyes, nervousness, etc.


The officer will then ask the driver to perform a few field sobriety tests. The objective of these tests is to enable to police officer determine whether the suspect driver is intoxicated. These tests were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

In a one legged stand, the suspect driver has to stand on one leg and count loudly until asked to stop and put the leg down. In the walk and turn test, the suspect driver must follow the instructions given by the police officer while performing simple physical movements. Although the police claim these tests to be accurate, a sober person can also fail these tests. An elderly person or someone with a health problem associated with the leg or knee will certainly fail the one legged test. If the road is slippery, a sober person may fail the walk and turn test.

 

In the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the police officer will hold a pen like instrument in front of the suspect driver and move it from left to right. The suspect driver must continuously look at the device as it moves from one side to the other. The police officer will be observing for involuntary jerking of the eye. Intoxication is not the only cause of jerking of the eye. Health problems and fatigue can also result in involuntary jerking of the eye.


  
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