Field Sobriety Tests and You

General Article

Get arrested is never a desirable outcome, and it’s typically an unexpected one, too. This is especially true for many people who find themselves arrested for drinking and driving. The evening probably started out fun and carefree, but when you’re in the back of a patrol car, you know things have gone wrong. Getting arrested on suspicion of DUI is a serious situation, and it’s one that over 22,000 Pennsylvanians find themselves in every year. Luckily, there are affordable bail bonds Williamsport PA that can help you get out of a bad situation and overcome this obstacle. In order to understand DUI arrests, though, you should first understand the field sobriety tests that are most commonly used.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

One of the first field sobriety tests that a law enforcement officer will apply is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus. This test is intended to measure the function of a person’s eyes and detect whether there is involuntary jerking present in that person’s eyeballs. If there is, this may be an indication that the person is intoxicated, which may then lead to an arrest. Unfortunately, though, there are plenty of reasons why a person’s eyes might involuntarily jerk, including reasons unrelated to intoxication. Medical conditions and some legal drugs can cause this phenomenon, which means that this field sobriety test may not be the most reliable.

The Walk and Turn

Like the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test is intended to measure specific indicators in inebriation. However, also like the horizontal gaze nystagmus, it is not always the most reliable. The walk and turn test entails a suspect taking nine steps forward, heel to toe, in a straight line. If they are unable to do so, they might be deemed intoxicated and arrested on suspicion of DUI. The problem with this, of course, is that many factors determine an individual’s ability to walk, and you may be unable to pass the test even if you are entirely sober.