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Prince William County DUI Field Sobriety Tests 

Prince William County DUI field sobriety tests are tests that law enforcement administers to the driver of a vehicle in order to determine whether or not that individual is impaired or intoxicated to find a probable cause to arrest them for a specific DUI statute. For a field sobriety test in the state of Virginia, there are several phases of tests that an officer could give. Read on to learn more about Prince William County DUI field sobriety tests, as well as the ways a qualified DUI attorney could offer you their assistance today.

First Steps in the DUI Process

After an officer pulls someone over, they have a limited amount of time and opportunity to discover whether or not there is probable cause to arrest someone for a DUI. To do this, law enforcement will administer field sobriety tests to try to determine whether or not the driver was showing indicators that make it probable that they are under the influence or impaired by alcohol.

NHTSA Tests and Accuracy

Prince William County DUI sobriety tests are the field sobriety tests that are standardized by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). These field sobriety tests are not 100% accurate and, depending on which field sobriety test it is, could only be somewhere between 65% to 70% accurate. There are specific directions that an officer has to give and regulations to follow as standardized by the NHTSA. The standardized testing conditions usually include conducting the test on a flat surface in a well-lit area with no wind or distracting noise. Reach out to a skilled defense attorney to learn more.

Different types of Prince William County DUI Field Sobriety Tests

There are a lot of variables that come up in the field that one can use to challenge field sobriety tests, but the field sobriety tests itself are indicators given in order to find probable cause that somebody is under the influence of alcohol. This probable cause is what allows an officer to make the DUI arrest in Prince William County. There are three field sobriety tests that are standardized by NHTSA:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus
  • The walk-and-turn
  • The stand on one leg test

These three Prince William County DUI field sobriety tests are the only ones that are standardized by the NHTSA that have gone through scientific testing and accuracy across the board. There are others as well,  like the PBT test, the counting backward test, and the touch-nose test. All these are tests that the officers have either made up or that used to be used before in NHTSA and they continue to use it as internal indicators. These are not standardized. An experienced DUI attorney would challenge these less formalized sobriety tests in court.

Refusing Prince William County DUI Field Sobriety Tests

A driver can refuse to perform field sobriety tests in Virginia under any circumstance. They should always refuse on the basis that they will not make any more statements without the presence of a lawyer. For more on Prince William County DUI field sobriety tests, contact a professional defense lawyer today to schedule your initial consultation.