Exercises That Don't Necessarily Prove Intoxication
Roadside sobriety testing can consist of a number of practices. In most instances, however, they consist of several physical exercises followed up with breathalyzer testing. What some citizens arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) never consider is that few of the roadside tests are necessarily valid or accurate. The results they provide are bundled together with other things like the dashcam footage, bodycam footage, and any blood work performed after the arrest. A good DUI attorney can pick those results apart piece by piece until the charges are dropped or reduced. To find out more about some common physical exercises suspects are asked to perform at a roadside stop and why they present such a weak case for the state, read below.
The Gaze Test
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is named after a real visual ailment that affects a victim's ability to focus on objects due to constant jerking motions of the eye. In theory, alcohol intoxication may cause a suspect's eyes to mimic that disorder and jump around a lot. The test is performed by asking the subject to focus on an object as the officer moves it around. The issue with this type of exercise is obvious. Almost anyone with a vision disturbance will find it challenging to keep their eyes on a moving object. The conditions under which this and other tests are performed are less than optimal, for example, at a roadside stop.
The Balance Test
The one-legged stand appears almost like a yoga pose and can be just as challenging for those with balance issues. The suspect is told to balance on one leg a few inches from the ground and then perform a complex counting exercise while doing so. Naturally, those with muscle, nerve, or neurological problems won't be able to perform this difficult exercise to the satisfaction of law enforcement.
The Walking Test
The subject is told to walk a certain number of steps, turn, and walk back to the starting point. As with all the tests, the ability to perform not only the physical aspects of the test but also the ability to follow directions properly is being gauged. Those unable to understand the spoken word, who don't understand English well, or that are otherwise physically or neurologically impaired may be charged with a DUI, even when they are innocent.
It's vital for those arrested to get a lawyer on their side to help fight the accusation of DUI. Being convicted of this charge is a life-altering event and should be avoided at all costs. Speak to a local DUI attorney to find out more.