DUI and Field Sobriety Tests

Retain an Experienced Long Beach DUI Defense Attorney

In order for a police officer to make an arrest for intoxicated driving, they must have reasonable cause. They can establish this through various means such as listening for slurred speech, smelling alcohol on a suspect's breath, or by conducting field sobriety tests. An officer may ask you to step out of your vehicle to perform these tests if they suspect you of driving under the influence. These tests may consist of any of the following:

  • One-leg stand
  • Walk and turn
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN)

The one-leg stand and the walk-and-turn tests are both designed to test your motor skills as well as your concentration and ability to balance. The things that police officers will be looking for in these tests are putting your leg down to keep your balance, stepping off of a line they specified for you to walk along, taking the wrong number of steps, and other errors. The HGN is a test of the focus ability of your eye. An officer will hold an object such as a pen in front of your eye and ask you to follow the object with your eye only. The officer will then move the object to one side so that your eyes turn. In this test, the officer is looking for involuntary twitching of your eyeball, an indicator that you are intoxicated.

After an Arrest and Charge

Once an officer has probable cause or a confession from a suspect, they may make an arrest and have you charged with the crime of DUI. It is important to know that police officers can lie to you in this situation in order to elicit a confession. It is also important to know that you are not required to perform the field sobriety tests; you can refuse without incurring any additional penalties. If you have been arrested and charged with this crime, then remain silent and seek the legal representation of our Long Beach DUI lawyer today!

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