When a law enforcement official suspects that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol, that individual will be pulled over and his or her condition will be assessed. In order to determine whether or not the person in question is intoxicated or not, a field sobriety test will be conducted.
There are three tests that are typically conducted during a field sobriety test:
- One-Leg Stand: The person in question is asked to stand on one foot and then raise his or her other foot six inches off the ground. The individual is then asked to count by the thousands. Failure to keep balanced may indicate intoxication.
- Walk-and-Turn: During this test, the person has to walk in a straight line for nine steps, in a heel-to-toe fashion. He or she must then turn around on one foot and walk back to the starting point. Stopping to balance, improper turning or walking the wrong amount of steps may indicate the person is intoxicated.
- HGN Testing: This tests the involuntary movement of the eye, known as nystagmus. Under normal circumstances, the eye will rotate at certain angles. An officer will hold a pen in front of the subject's eyes and ask him or her to follow the pen. If the person can't follow the pen, his eyes jerk or there is jerking at maximum deviation, this can be a sign of intoxication.
While these tests can indicate that a person is intoxicated, they are not always accurate. Physical or mental impairment, inclement weather and improper lighting can alter the results and may result in a person being charged with a DUI, when in fact, he or she is not intoxicated.
If you have been charged with a DUI in the Palm Springs area, contact the Law Office of Joseph T. Rhea. He has defended numerous DUI arrest cases, and as the top DUI lawyer in the Coachella Valley, you can be sure that he will fully defend your rights.