Unless you cause a crash or hurt someone, a police officer can’t summarily arrest you for suspected drunk driving. They need to develop probable cause to request further testing.
How the driver answers a few questions about their behavior that day could give a police officer an idea how about whether alcohol may have affected someone’s behavior.
Those who admit to drinking or whose answers don’t seem to align with their behavior may have to exit the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test at the request of the officer. What will happen during that test?
The officer will use standardized tests to gauge possible impairment
Although there are many tests that can help determine signs of intoxication, there are three standard field sobriety tests used in most jurisdictions. Two of them look at physical coordination.
The walk-and-turn test requires that someone walk in a straight line for a specific number of steps before turning around and retracing their straight path back toward the officer. The one-leg stand test requires that an individual balance on one foot, possibly while counting backward.
The third field sobriety test looks at involuntary movements in your eyes. This test requires that you follow the officer’s finger or an object from side to side with your eyes while holding your head still. If the officer notes significant twitching in your eye, they may then request a chemical breasts test.
There are many alternate explanations for why someone failed a field sobriety test beyond alcohol impairment. Understanding the nature of the tests can help you explore how to defend yourself against drunk driving charges.