DUI Tests in Michigan
If you are pulled over and are suspected of driving under the influence, it is likely that an officer will want to perform a series of tests on you that will measure your ability to focus and function on one or multiple tasks. It is expected that these tests will accurately measure your ability to safely operate a vehicle, and that you are not driving while heavily inebriated.
Police officers are not strict students of science, but they will want to conduct these tests despite that. Common tests are administered in order to divide someone’s attention between cognitive and physical tasks in order to gauge their ability to concentrate and perform well enough that they can be deemed safe to drive a vehicle.
No officer takes into account the amount of stress someone is under when faced with these tests, which may cause them to falter or fail and be mistaken for an intoxicated driver. We do. When you need legal representation, The Oliver Law Group is there for drivers facing DUI charges every step of the way.
When someone is pulled over and suspected of driving while intoxicated, the officer investigating will want to administer standardized field sobriety tests. These are meant to judge how competent the driver is at the time of testing and if they are safe to be behind the wheel. Substances such as alcohol impair one’s ability to divide attention evenly between mental and physical tasks. Reaction time is slowed, which is incredibly dangerous when operating a vehicle.
Officers will check for signs of impairment with tests that claim to be able to gauge the level of safe driving capability an individual has when suspected of driving intoxicated. These tests include:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: A “nystagmus” is an involuntary twitch in the eye. This is detected by following a horizontal gaze. A sober person’s eye movements would be fluid and smooth. Someone under the influence may show signs of a twitch. Hands are set at the person’s side and feet together while eyesight follows a pen, flashlight or other object.
- Walk and Turn Test: The goal of this test is to walk in a straight line with arms at sides without losing balance. One foot is placed in front of the other, heel to toe, and the line must be walked in both directions. Balance, ability to follow instruction and accuracy in determining steps are all measured in an attempt to gauge sobriety.
- Standing on One Leg: Difficult for any person, this test involves standing on one leg and holding the position for a set amount of time. This test is meant to reveal issues with balance and cognition. However, many sober people find it difficult to accomplish.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you do not have to take these tests. While these tests are meant to reveal a level of sobriety or inebriation, false positives occur all the time, and failure of a test even if a measured BAC is below the legal limit can still result in police action. Your best option is to politely refuse.
If you did take a field sobriety test, we can help you challenge the result. Officers must receive verbal confirmation that someone understands the instructions being given to them; failure to obtain this is an officer error. In addition, physical or mental conditions may make these tests more difficult. A DUI defense attorney can help analyze the tests administered and cast doubt on the charges against you.
Defense Against Conviction
You have rights in a DUI case, and a competent attorney can help protect them. Contact us for a free case evaluation today. If convicted of a DUI, your license could be at risk. Your way of getting to and from work or school, transporting your family and functioning in daily life could be in danger. But it doesn’t have to be. We can, and we will, help you.