If you have ever been stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, you may already have undergone some of the tests that are often carried out to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Among the more commonly used tests are field sobriety tests. However, as we have seen before, not everyone is able to perform these tests well, regardless of their blood alcohol content.
Here in Arizona, it is within your rights to refuse field sobriety tests if you wish, especially if you feel the results may falsely incriminate you. Furthermore, as we discussed previously, doing so does not result in automatic license suspension as declining a blood alcohol test can.
As is explained in greater detail here, the Standardized Field Sobriety Test consists of three parts:
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus. During this test, officers look for the degree of involuntary eye jerking when the person being tested gazes to the side or attempts to follow a moving object with their eyes.
- The walk and turn. This involves the person being tested taking nine steps along a straight line, walking heel-to-toe. They must then turn on one foot and repeat the steps in the other direction.
- The one-leg stand. The person being tested is asked to stand on one leg for 30 seconds, with their other foot around six inches above the ground.
If you fail a field sobriety test, you might then be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test. If you are found to have tested over the legal blood alcohol limit, you may face charges. However, even Breathalyzers are not always accurate, so you may be able to call the evidence against you into question. An attorney may be able to assist you in examining the charges against you and looking at if there are potential grounds to challenge them.