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Do you know what sobriety tests are?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | DUI

The police may pull over a vehicle if they suspect the driver is drunk. Before an arrest is made, the police must gather evidence proving that the driver is drunk. One way this is done is by asking the driver questions. However, this may not work, especially if the driver uses their Fifth Amendment rights

Alternatively, the police may have a driver do a sobriety test. There are two kinds of sobriety tests: field sobriety tests and chemical tests. Here’s what you should know about each:

What are field sobriety tests?

A field sobriety test is a physical evaluation that helps the police spot signs of inebriation. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, walk-and-turn test and one-legged stand test. The police can also ask drivers to do other kinds of field sobriety tests, such as having a driver touch their toes or do multiplication. The police may believe that a driver is drunk if they, for example, stumble while walking, lose focus or can’t follow directions. 

What are chemical sobriety tests?

Chemical sobriety tests evaluate the amount of blood found in a driver’s body, also called the blood alcohol content (BAC). There are three chemical sobriety tests: blood, breath and urine. Many people take breath tests because they are convenient and can be done during traffic stops. A breath test is done by blowing into a device that reads their BAC.

Blood and urine tests often have to be administered at a hospital. Of the three tests, blood tests can be the most accurate. However, these tests can still be inaccurate if there are lab errors or contamination. 

Learning about sobriety tests could help you as you build a strong legal case. You may need to reach out for legal help to learn more.