FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
Dui evidence falls into five categories:
Driving symptoms (weaving, lane straddling, etc.)
Personal symptoms (slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, etc.)
Field sobriety tests ("walk-the-line", reciting the alphabet, etc.)
Incriminating statements ("I only had six beers")
Blood-Alcohol Evidence - Usually a breath test but sometimes a blood test.
Procedurally, you should be aware of certain legal rights you have — rights which are commonly ignored by the police:
There must be legally sufficient facts to constitute "probable cause" to stop, detain and arrest you.
You should be advised that submission to field sobriety testing and portable field breath testing is not required by law.
Once arrested, you must be advised of your constitutional rights — the "Miranda" warning — before any further questioning takes place.
If you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, you must be advised of the legal consequences (the "implied consent" advisement).
If a breath test is administered at the police station, since the breath sample is not saved, you must be given a chance to obtain a blood sample for later independent testing by your defense attorney.
Officer's Guide to DUI Driving Symptoms
Manual for officers setting forth the 20 types of driving to look for in detecting drunk drivers, from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Includes the statistical probability that the specific type of driving involves intoxication (example: "Turning with a wide radius" indicates a 65% chance that the driver is intoxicated).
Sobriety Checkpoint Guide
Law enforcement standards for DUI sobriety roadblocks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Field Sobriety Test
A description of the three so-called "standardized" field sobriety tests, developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — the heel-to-toe, one-leg-stand and nystagmus tests.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
More information on the NHTSA-approved battery of three "standardized" field sobriety tests.
The "Nystagmus" Test
One of the most common field sobriety tests involves following a pen or finger with the eyes while keeping the head still. This is the "horizontal gaze nystagmus" test and although scientific in appearance, is highly unreliable due to the lack of expertise of the officer in administering or interpreting the test.