What happens during a drunk driving stop?

By May 17, 2017Drunk Driving

When you have had a few beers to drink during a night out with friends, you might think that you are fine to drive home. This might not be the case. Unless you have a breath test machine so you can find out your blood-alcohol concentration percentage, you will never know.

On your way home, you see the flashing lights of a police car and know that your night is about to go downhill. If you are pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving, here are a few points that you can consider.

Can the officer stop me for no reason?

The police officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This can come from a variety of points. Traffic violations, such as running a red light, are a reason to pull you over. Improperly functioning safety equipment, such as a brake light or headlight not working, can lead to a stop. Signs that something is amiss, such as swerving, can also lead to your being pulled over. As long as the officer observes that you are exhibiting behavior consistent with drunk driving, he or she can initiate a traffic stop.

What is a standardized field sobriety test?

The standardized field sobriety test is a series of three tests that officers do to determine if a person is likely too intoxicated to drive. These tests include the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Other tests might also be done. However, they can’t be used to determine the results of the standardized test.

How is blood-alcohol concentration determined?

A driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is determined through a breath, blood or urine test. These tests are highly standardized and not all of them are admissible in court. A roadside breath test done using a portable device wouldn’t be admissible. However, a breath test done using a standardized stationary machine would be. In order to conduct a BAC test, the person performing the test must be trained and the equipment must be calibrated properly so an accurate result is provided.

Do I have rights if I’m arrested for drunk driving?

You do have rights if you are arrested for drunk driving. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to demand an attorney before you make any statements. All of your other rights that are provided by the United States Constitution also apply in these cases. Violations of your rights might be a component of a defense strategy.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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