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Know what to expect from a field sobriety test

Posted on September 4, 2015 in Field Sobriety Tests

In Arizona, if you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, you probably already know what to expect. You might be Breathalyzed, asked questions about whether you have consumed any alcohol or even requested to submit to field sobriety tests. While you do have the right to refuse, it can result in the suspension of your license, so it is important to consider this decision carefully.

The tests can include several tasks, such as taking heel-to-toe steps back and forth along a straight line, or standing on one leg for 30 seconds. If you struggle to maintain your balance or display other signs of impairment, officers may suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, there are other reasons you could struggle with these tests, such as medical conditions or even nervousness.

Another common test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus. This involves following a moving object with your eyes. As you do so, officers will be looking out for signs that your eyes are jerking more than is normal during this movement. If so, it can suggest that you may be suffering from alcohol impairment.

If you have any concerns about the tests you might face during a DUI investigation or if you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, an attorney may have some of the answers you need. He or she could also prove to be a valuable ally during your preparation for the trial and the formulation of your defense. With proper guidance, you may be able to receive a lighter sentence or escape conviction altogether.

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