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Brunswick County DUI Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests in Brunswick are tests that are designed to look at a person’s physical demeanor, physical abilities to try and discern whether or not they have been influenced by alcohol or another illegal or even legal substance such as their eyesight, their reflexes.

The results of field sobriety tests can be used as evidence in DUI cases. If you have failed a field sobriety test, and face DUI charges, contact a qualified DUI attorney who can defend you.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

It is one of the field sobriety tests in Brunswick given by law enforcement to judge the way that a person’s eyes respond to stimulus. In their training, it is usually given by following an officer’s pen, something that every law enforcement representative is going to have on them.

They will look for clues to see how the person’s eye responds as compared to the eyes of a sober person essentially. If the person has a lack of smooth pursuit, that is going to be the magic language that they use in courts. That is something that the officer can testify to show that a person is allegedly impaired.

Walk and Turn Test

All field sobriety tests in Brunswick are twofold. More than anything, officers are looking to see if a person is able to follow directions.

The officers are going to want them to start at one point, walk to another, do a turn; and they will micromanage down to how many steps they want them to take, and the way they want the person to turn.

They are not only looking to see if the person can stand up straight, but are looking to see if the person walks further than they ask or if they did not turn. That is going to be used as testimony, claiming that they were impaired and unable to follow simple directions.

One Legged Stand Test

They tell the person to stand on one leg and that is obviously, the idea is to measure someone’s balance, and see if the puts his or her right foot off the ground, the person picks up his or her left, or the person has to lean on the vehicle for assistance which is common in DUIs. That is what they are looking for.

Do these tests need to be administered in a certain way?

They are not any different from agency to agency and officer to officer but there are a lot of officers who are not really comfortable with that test. It is the one that should be most consistent but is not often used.

At the beginning, most officers will see if the person has any physical disabilities or any physical limitations that are going to prevent the person from doing the tests. For instance, somebody who has balance issues, in general, or has some sort of leg injury,  then they are not going to give them that test.

Weight of Tests at Trial

The weight is pretty high, especially if the person is nervous or has a lack of familiarity with the process, or physical issues, mental disabilities, any sort of dyslexia, or they were too nervous to tell the officer that they were dyslexic and therefore did not do well on the alphabet test.

If the person has someone that the officer instructed to walk, like ten steps, turn around and stop, and they walk 35 steps and fall; it is individual to the results, how much weight they are going to be given.

If the person was close to passing – and anybody could have made the mistake – that is not going to be given as much weight as far as arguing that someone was under the influence of something.

Refusing to Perform a Sobriety Test

A person can always refuse to perform field sobriety tests in Brunswick. The person will be better off if they refuse. If the person is unable to do all of the physical tests, they can tell the officer they cannot do that.

However, The person does not want to come across as uncooperative as possible so they can decline, but should be polite and cooperative. The person will get a different outcome if they are polite versus rude.

If you face DUI charges as the result of field sobriety tests in Brunswick, seek the counsel of a local DUI lawyer.

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