After a Police Officer pulls someone over at a traffic stop, and begins having suspicions that the driver is driving under the influence, the officer will attempt to initiate a series of tests known as the Field Sobriety Tests to determine whether or not the driver is in fact driving under the influence.
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration defines the Standard Field Sobriety Tests as a series of three tests.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
horizontal gaze nystagmus is when the eye jerks as the eyes look side to side. Nystagmus is extremely prevalent in individuals who are intoxicated with alcohol. Individuals who are impaired will also have trouble tracking a moving object, such as a pen, this indicates a lack of smooth pursuit. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test is considered to be 88% accurate.
Walk and Turn Test
In this test the subject must walk in a straight line, taking nine steps, heel to toe, with their arms to their side, and then return back. Subjects are tested for their ability to listen to instructions, whether they can maintain balance, if they are using there arms for balance, or there inability to walk in a straight line. The Walk and Turn Test is considered to be 79% accurate.
One-Leg Stand Test
The one leg stand test requires the participant to lift the foot off the ground, approximately 6 inches, while holding balance onto their other foot. The individual is to count out loud, and stop when the officer tells them to put there foot down. The test lasts for 30 seconds. This is testing the individuals ability to maintain balance, whether they are swaying, or putting there foot down. This test is considered to be 83% accurate.
Do I have to the Field Sobriety Tests
If you are being tested for DUI, you are not required to take the field sobriety tests. Failing the field sobriety tests will impact your ability to defend your DUI arrest. Without these tests, evidence in your DUI case will be greatly diminished.
What Happens If I Refuse To Take the Tests?
If you refuse to take the field sobriety tests will result in a statutory summary suspension from the Illinois Secretary of States Office. Your drivers license will be suspended after the refusal. For your first offense, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year. If you take the tests and fail them, your license will still be suspended for 6 months for your first offense.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, regardless of whether you took the field sobriety tests or not, you need to reach out to an experienced DUI Lawyer immediately. If the Field Sobriety Tests are not administered properly, then the test is void and cannot be used as evidence against you in your DUI case. An experienced DUI Attorney can help you pick out these testing errors administered by the police. They may also help you with your Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension from the Secretary of States Office.
Olson & Reeves are experienced DUI attorneys who defend clients against there DUI charge. They can help evaluate your case, and potentially get your DUI dismissed, or help you keep your driver’s license. We always offer free case evaluations, and flat fees. Call today to set up your completely free consultation!