Testing Your Sobriety at the Scene
When you are pulled over as a DUI suspect, chances are you will be asked to perform a series of what are called field sobriety tests to determine if you are capable of being behind the wheel. These tests must be administered in a specific way in accordance with the law and can often lead you to being asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Whether these tests were performed correctly and whether they were accurate is something a good San Diego DUI lawyer may concentrate on in court when defending your case.
There are several different types of field sobriety tests that can be given. One may be administered, or they can be done in combination with others to prove sobriety. One of the most common methods is being asked to walk in a straight line and then turn. This is considered one of the more accurate means of testing, as is being asked to follow a pencil that the officer is holding with just your eyes as he looks for an involuntary eyeball twitch. Some of the tests that experts have said are possibly inaccurate include reciting the alphabet and touching your nose with your finger. There is no way to prove completely with any of these tests that you are behind the wheel of a vehicle when you shouldn’t be, but failing them is enough to arouse suspicion and lead to other sobriety tests. These include breathalyzer tests, as well as actual blood tests. These can detect the BAC levels, which need to be below .08% to be considered under the legal limit. Of course, a breathalyzer test cannot detect if you are under the influence of either prescription of illegal drugs.Â Your DUI attorney in San Diego may explain to you how these tests work when preparing your case so you know what you are up against.
Field sobriety tests may also lead to you being asked to take a breath test with a Preliminary Alcohol Screener. This is a handheld device, but taking a PAS test is not required by law unless you are under the age of 21 in California.Â If you took one without knowing you had the legal right to refuse, then a San Diego DUI lawyer can use that fact in court. Remember, even if this is your first DUI offense, it is still a serious charge. Whether you were arrested for a valid reason can also become a valid defense and you will need a good DUI lawyer in San Diego to present that defense for you.