Getting pulled over by law enforcement can be nerve-wracking. Like many drivers at a traffic stop, you often may have no idea why an officer pulled you over or what will happen to you next.
When an officer starts asking questions about your activities earlier in the evening, you may worry that the next step will be a field sobriety test, especially if you were unsure if you were ok to drive. In general, there are three tests’ officers will use to decide if they should investigate the driver further.
What are the officers looking for during the three main field sobriety tests?
The walk-and-turn test is often the test you see on TV and in movies. If the officer chooses this test, you will walk a specific number of steps heel-to-toe, turn and take the same number of steps back.
When officers conduct the walk-and-turn test, they look at whether you can maintain your balance and follow their directions. If you cannot perform the tasks or your performance may indicate you have been drinking, the officer will likely move forward with checking your breath, blood or urine to determine your blood-alcohol content.
One-leg stand test
Another well-known test is the one-leg stand test. For this test, the officer will ask you to stand with one foot about six inches above the ground while counting slowly until the officer tells you to stop.
While performing this test, the officer will look at your ability to maintain your balance and follow the directions.
Horizontal gaze nystagmus test
The name of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test is not very helpful for understanding what the test is or what it measures. During this test, an officer will ask you to follow a moving object, like a pen, from left to right with your eyes.
Of the three most common tests, this test tends to be simple and objective. The officer will look for involuntary jerking of your eye, which can be an indicator that you had too much to drink.
One of the challenges with field sobriety tests is that they can be difficult to pass even while sober. Before you agree to one of these tests, keep in mind that you can refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, refusing does not mean the officer will not investigate further.
Are there Certain Procedures that the Officer has to Follow When Administering these tests?
The short answer to this question is yes. When officers perform these tests on the roadways, there are certain procedures that they have to follow in order for the results of these test to be admissible in court. Some examples of these procedures include: reading the offender their rights, making sure that the offender fully understands the instructions that they have been given, and making sure that the offender is not staring towards blue flashing lights, just to name a few. Among many other requirements, if the officer fails to follow these certain procedures, a qualified and skilled criminal defense attorney can potentially help an offender be found not guilty of the charges that are brought against them.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney
When you are searching the state of Mississippi for a qualified, experienced dui defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. no matter the circumstances of your case, the sooner you get in touch with a qualified dui defense attorney, the better chance you have for a favorable outcome. Over the years, we have helped countless defendants who have been charged with DUI’s. Please call us for a free consultation today. We can help you defend yourself when you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Mississippi.
Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and our office phone number is (601) 948 – 4444 option 1.