Juggling as a New Field Sobriety Test?
People try to get out of charges of driving under the influence in all sorts of creative ways, but perhaps none more creative than a college student in Arkansas. The young man was pulled over by police recently and decided to show off a unique skill to prove to police that he was sober: juggling bowling pins. The incident was all caught on tape.
According to reports, the man was pulled over because he was driving too slowly and officers noticed that his taillight was broken. The officers realized that the man wasn’t intoxicated once they had him stopped but couldn’t resist the free show that he offered. One of the officers recorded the act on the student’s cell phone and the media soon got ahold of it.
While police won’t ask anyone to juggle as a way to prove their sobriety, they will ask those suspected of driving drunk to pass a series of field sobriety tests. Currently accepted tests include:
1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
This test checks to see if your eyes remain still. An officer will ask that you keep your head still and follow an object with your eyes. That object may be a pen or the officer’s finger. The officer is watching to see if your eyes “bounce,” or move quickly from side to side as you are tracking the object.
2. Walk and Turn
You will be asked to walk heel to toe for a certain distance or for so many steps. The officer will give specific instructions that must be followed. The officer is looking to see if you can follow instructions and if you can maintain your balance while performing the test.
When police ask a suspected drunk driver to perform the one-leg-stand, they are checking for balance. You will be asked to stand on one foot, elevate the other and count until asked to stop. You may be asked to repeat the process with the other leg.
These are the currently accepted tests that a suspected drunk driver may be asked to perform on the side of the road or while in custody. It is your right to politely decline to take any field sobriety or chemical analysis when you have been pulled over for drunk driving. It is also your right to contact an attorney for assistance.
Remember that police will use the results of field sobriety tests as evidence in court. However, many experts believe they are unfair and unreliable. For example, a driver with an inner ear issue may not be able to balance on one foot, even if they are completely sober. As such, having an attorney who knows how to fight against this evidence in court is paramount.
If you have been pulled over for driving under the influence in DeKalb County, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Call our office today for assistance. We will review the details of your arrest and charges at no cost to you and advise you of your legal options.