A Brief Insight Into DUI Sobriety Tests in Greenville

Driving under the influence has some severe consequences. Ranging from minor accidents leading to injuries to terrible accidents that result in paralysis, damage to crucial organs, and in some cases, death. There are a lot of rules and regulations, including DUI sobriety tests in Greenville, involved to limit such occurrences. Officials and authorities are always on duty to ensure safety.

If any driver seems suspicious, the officers on duty have a right to stop them and investigate. Depending on the level of alcohol consumption, they are charged after the investigation. One could lose their driving license and can also get arrested if the issue at hand is serious. Having so many risks and dangers involved, it is advised not to drink and drive.

In case of a suspicious driver driving under the influence, the officers will ask the driver to perform tests called DUI sobriety tests. When a driver gets a driving license, the driver is not obligated to give consent to the requirements of any such tests. As these DUI sobriety tests involve giving blood, urine, breath, it becomes a matter of consent. The driver is within their rights to reject any such tests.

However, refusing to participate in the sobriety test means you have to take responsibility for what might happen next. Depending on the level of alcohol consumption, you might lose your license, or in the worst-case scenario, one might even get arrested.

Common Types of DUI Sobriety Tests 

If you are asked to complete a series of DUI sobriety tests, then the chances are high that officers have found you suspicious. You will be asked to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed the field sobriety test to assess whether a driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was greater than .08.

In Greenville, drivers driving under the influence will be asked to perform three tasks mentioned below:

The Pen Test 

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Field Sobriety Test is often referred to as the pen test. How does an officer perform this test? Usually, the officer will hold a pen or a finger and request the suspicious driver to follow its path. The officers are trained to look for any signs that confirm that the driver is under the influence and might cause concerns.

The test gets its name from a medical term for the jerking of the eye called Nystagmus. It can possibly be triggered by many factors. It is nearly impossible for the officer to come to an accurate conclusion because of uncertainty. This is why still a very large number of trial courts don’t accept it as hard evidence to take some serious action. Even the evidence provided based on these tests is not evidence to arrest someone for DUI charges. Because of the difficulty in making a case, and with inaccuracy and uncertainty involved, the courts only consider the results of the HGN test to provide a basis for a possible case.

This test has often fallen short of the requirements of a court’s standards to be considered as hard evidence.

Walk and Turn Test

This test is administered to clear any suspicion an officer has on a driver under a DUI case. It involves the driver having to take nine heel-to-toe steps on an imaginary straight line. Just as with the other standardized tests, the officers are trained to look for clear signs to conclude. The officer will be looking for clues such as:

  • Is the driver having any difficulty following the instructions?
  • How difficult is it for the driver to maintain balance while walking?
  • Is the driver taking improper turns or slipping out of balance?
  • Does the driver start to walk before the instructions are given?
  • Is the driver is using his arms to maintain balance or not?

Such clues indicate that the driver might be under the influence. This test has been proven to be right with 68% accuracy.

One Leg Stand Test

As the name of these DUI sobriety tests suggests, the officers instruct drivers to lift their preferred foot, stare at it, and ask to count.  This must be continued until the officers ask the driver to stop. This test has an accuracy of 65%. The officer is trained to look for the following clues:

  • Whether the driver is trying to maintain balance using his arms.
  • If the driver is struggling to maintain balance and is trying to put the foot down.
  • Signs of hopping due to lack of balance.

These signs may indicate that the driver is impaired and shouldn’t be allowed to drive. The three tests mentioned above have over 80% accuracy combined. So officers administer these tests to confirm their suspicions.

To learn more about DUI sobriety tests in Greenville, contact us today.

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