DUI arrests are common in Colorado as they are in most states throughout the country. We all know the danger that drunk driving presents, but it still occurs. During the course of a traffic stop in which a police officer is investigating the possibility of drunk driving, field sobriety tests are likely to occur.
So, what should our readers know about fields sobriety tests? Well, for starters, it is important to understand that these tests, even if a person fails them, are not absolutely certain to be a reliable way to determine a person’s level of sobriety or intoxication. Police officers use these tests in a cumulative fashion, considering the results of the tests among other factors when making a determination about whether to arrest a suspect on DUI charges.
There are three common field sobriety tests. The first is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, most commonly understood as the “follow the tip of my pen with your eyes” test. In this test, the police officer is looking for jerking motions in the eye, which can indicate potential intoxication.
The next test is the “walk and turn” test. During this test, the police officers is gauging a suspect’s ability to pay attention to instructions.
Lastly, there is the “stand on one leg” test. With this test, the police officer is evaluating the suspect’s balance.
In addition to these tests, a police officer investigating a potential DUI situation will also evaluate the person’s appearance, speech and if there is any odor of alcohol about the person. Colorado residents who have been arrested due, in part, to failed field sobriety tests will need to carefully consider their criminal defense options.