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Testing for Intoxication: How Does it Work?

There are a few different ways law enforcement can determine whether or not you’ve been drinking. They’re trained to look for certain signs and then to administer a series of tests that can function as evidence if you are then charged with a DUI.

Let’s take a look at some of those signs and tests today.

Testing for Intoxication: How Does it Work?

 

Initial Signs of Intoxication

Before you are even pulled over, the police are trained to look for signs of erratic driving. Once they pull you over, they may look for signs that you may be intoxicated. Slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and/or the smell of alcohol on your breath may are some of the easiest giveaways.

If an officer notices any of these initial signs of intoxication, they may ask you to perform a field sobriety test.

The Field Sobriety Test

The field sobriety test consists of a series of mental and physical tasks performed at the scene where they stopped you. The most common of these tests is the Nystagmus test.

The Nystagmus Test

“Nystagmus” is a condition of the eyes in which they make uncontrolled and repetitive movements. When you’re drunk, this can occur when you look all the way to one side or the other or at a 45° angle. In addition to watching for this, cops will also look for a “lack of smooth pursuit” during this test.

The Walk & Turn Test

During this test, the subject is asked to walk nine steps, turn around, and then return to the point of origin. While walking, you’re expected to walk in a straight line and to follow the policeman’s instruction to the letter. There are seven indicators that the policeman will look for during the test, and if you exhibit 2 or more of these indicators, you will fail.

The One-Leg Stand

For the one-leg stand test, you’ll need to stand on one leg, count to 30, and then look down at your foot. During the test, you cannot let your foot touch the ground and your arms must remain by your sides.

The Chemical Test

If you refuse to take the field sobriety test, and you’re well within your right to do so, then you will be subject to a chemical test. The chemical test is going to provide the police with an accurate measurement of how much alcohol is in your system, if any. However, it should be noted that the roadside breath test isn’t going to be as accurate as the blood or urine test at a hospital or the breath test at the station, so keep that in mind.

Refusing to take any chemical test will violate the “implied consent” law in Maryland and you will face punishment.

Call a DUI Lawyer in Essex Today!

If you’re facing DUI charges in Essex, Westminster, or Columbia, call on Ross W. Albers to help you. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers has extensive experience with DUI and DWI cases in the state of Maryland and can provide you with legal council that will protect your future. Give us a call today at (443) 543-8517 for a free consultation.

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