How Do Police Officers Perform A Sobriety Test In South Carolina?

A sobriety test in South Carolina (also known as a field sobriety test) is a test that the police officers ask drivers to perform when caught Driving Under Influence. Field sobriety tests in South Carolina are not a part of implied consent laws when a driver’s license is issued. This means that a person receiving a driving license doesn’t consent to submit blood, breath, urine, and alcohol tests when asked.

Therefore, one can reject to perform a field sobriety test in South Carolina, unlike breathalyzer tests. However, rejecting it has its repercussions as well. One needs to weigh down the options when refusing to perform such tests.

Though you may not be losing your driving license for six months, you may get arrested for the suspicion of driving under the influence.

What Are The Field Sobriety Tests In South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the field sobriety tests should be videotaped. The standard protocol labeled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is followed in South Carolina when performing a sobriety test.

One sobriety test in South Carolina isn’t enough to conclude if the driver was intoxicated or not. Therefore, a combination of two to three tests should be undertaken to determine the sobriety of the motorist.

The three standardized sobriety tests are:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

Under the HGN test, the motorist has to follow the object like a pen or flashlight, which is moved back and forth in front of the eyes. This is done to check the physiological response time. When a person is intoxicated, it is challenging to have controlled motions, and the eyes will exhibit an involuntary jerking motion. This is a typical sobriety test in South Carolina that police will use to determine is a driver is drunk.

This will help the police officer immediately identify the presence of intoxication. However, this test can be challenged if the person has some prior health problems.

Walk And Turn Test

A Walk and Turn test is performed to check the stability of a person or if he can balance his body well. Usually, when a person is intoxicated, the coordination of the body is compromised. This is used as an indication by police officers to check the presence of alcohol running in the body.

Under this test, a police officer will ask you to walk over a straight line on your toes and then walk back. Again, this test can be challenged as it is difficult for even a normal person to walk straight without losing balance due to various factors like poor road conditions, bad weather, improper footwear, etc.

One Leg Stand Test

Under the one-leg stand test, the police officer asks the motorist to stand on one leg, while the other leg should be at least 6 inches above the ground. They should be able to keep the balance for at least 30 seconds.

This is again performed to check body coordination which gets impaired when a person is intoxicated.

The non-standardized tests are:

There are also non-standardized tests that a police officer may ask to perform in South Carolina. However, these tests cannot be used as evidence in a court of law to prove the suspicion of driving under the influence by the police officer as they are non-standardized.

These tests include:

ABC/Number Testing

Under this, the police officer will ask the motorist to recite a series of numbers or alphabets, either backward or forward. This is done to check the capability of the person to follow instructions well.

Finger To Nose Test

In this test, the police officer asks you to touch your nose with your index finger with your eyes closed. Finger and nose tests can be challenged for a variety of reasons as well.

Rhomberg Balance Test

In a Rhomberg balance test, the driver under suspicion has to move their head up and down with eyes closed and counting for 30 seconds.

This is done to check the sense of time and stability of the person.

Contact Our Greenville DUI Lawyers

If you are arrested under DUI for either refusing to perform sobriety tests in South Carolina or otherwise, an experienced DUI attorney in South Carolina can help you fight your case on feasible grounds.

An experienced attorney will know all the right reasons to turn the case in your favor by finding the loopholes. You cannot face penalties for refusing to perform a sobriety test in South Carolina. You also have a right to remain silent when stopped and interrogated by the police officer.

If you wish to learn more about a sobriety test in South Carolina or were made to undergo one, we can help you out. Talk with our experienced DUI attorneys today.