Police Often Administer These Tests Before a DUI Arrest
Any number of issues might prompt a New Jersey police officer to make a traffic stop. If an officer witnesses erratic driving behavior, he or she might suspect that the person behind the wheel is intoxicated. A patrol officer might then ask the driver to step out of his or her vehicle for a preliminary alcohol screening.
Police Might Request a Field Sobriety Test
In addition to requesting a roadside breath test to see if the device detects alcohol on the breath, an officer making a traffic stop for suspected DUI might also ask a driver to submit to a field sobriety test. Several types of tests help determine if there is probable cause to make a DUI arrest. The following list briefly explains three of the most common types of field sobriety tests:
A horizontal gaze nystagmus test tracks a person’s eye movements as he or she follows an object without moving his or her head to check if there is erratic eye movement before reaching the maximum peripheral vision point.
The one-leg stance test typically involves standing on one leg with the head tilted upward with arms in a relaxed position; the person might also be asked to count aloud by 100s or 1000s, etc., while standing on one leg.
A walk-and-turn test requires a person to hold arms out at shoulder length while walking a straight line with the heel of one-foot meeting at the toe of the other with every step.
A field sobriety test enables a police officer to observe whether the person taking the test can follow a series of simple instructions and perform physical tasks without error. An officer’s personal interpretation of events influences the results of the test and may lead to a DUI arrest if a failing score is given.
Every Person Is Guaranteed an Opportunity to Refute DUI Charges in Court
A New Jersey motorist is not obligated to take a field sobriety test. If a person submits to such a test and fails, he or she might wind up facing criminal charges and can refute the charges in court by presenting a defense. Most defendants request legal representation to help them determine which type of DUI defense strategy might be best in a specific set of circumstances.