DUI tests are administered at the time of arrest in order to assess a driver’s intoxication level. They may also be performed at the police station during the booking procedure.
Standard DUI tests that are used to justify arrests include a blood alcohol content (BAC) evaluation using a breathalyzer and/or blood test and a series of field sobriety tests. Police officers use the results of these DUI tests to charge the arrested individual and seek a DUI conviction based on the outcomes.
Checking Blood Alcohol Content
The most common form of BAC assessment, the breathalyzer test, evaluates the alcohol level in the body by assessing lung function. The driver blows into the device and it gives a reading of blood alcohol content according to the percentage of alcohol saturation in the blood. BAC levels may also be determined by blood, saliva, or urine testing, or a combination of these methods.
Various factors can affect BAC readings, such as metabolism, amount of food in the stomach, and prescription medications. As many DUI lawyers have seen during their years of representing drunk driving clients, both the testing mechanisms and readings are not foolproof. There simply is no test that is 100% accurate. A skilled legal professional from this website can work to fairly evaluate your charges, including finding any inconsistencies in the DUI tests.
DUI Field Sobriety Tests
A driver suspected of DUI may be asked to perform field sobriety tests — Standardized Field Sobriety Tests approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for use by law enforcement officers. Since these types of tests are reflex gauges that are open to interpretation and provide no indisputable proof of intoxication, they are intended only as guidelines to help determine cause for arrest. Their results may be highly inaccurate and based on a variety of environmental factors. Field sobriety tests used today include the One-leg Stand Test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn Test, and the Rhomberg Balance Test.
Most states allow for the voluntary denial of these tests, which means you can choose not to participate. Field sobriety tests are often used randomly at DUI checkpoints to catch drunk drivers. Most people aren’t aware of their rights in this situation or how their field sobriety test results may be used against them during DUI trials. An experienced DUI law firm can look for evidence that the field sobriety tests were administered under pressure or show how the results were interpreted inaccurately. They are sometimes excluded altogether, depending on the events surrounding their occurrence.
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