When someone is driving rather recklessly, swerving off lanes and weaving through traffic, a police officer may pull them over and assume that they are driving while under the influence. If they suspect this, there are a couple of things they will do to investigate this. Here are just some of the actions a police officer may do and what it can lead to.
Field Sobriety test
After getting pulled over, the first thing a law enforcement will most likely ask you to adhere to is a field sobriety test. Though technically you may refuse this, it will come with consequences in the form of a suspended license for up to a year and a hefty fine. During this test, you will be asked to perform 3 relatively simple tasks to gauge whether you are impaired. The first test is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus or HGN for short. During this test the officer will place a pen at a certain angle to see if there is involuntary bouncing or jerking movements from the eyeball that show inebriation. The second test is known as the walk-and-turn test where you will be required to take one step in front of the other with the heel touching the toes at each step then making a turn after which you would take smaller steps. This test is done to see if there is any issue in walking or following instructions which if failed could mean you are under the influence. The final test is the one leg stand and it is pretty self-explanatory. You will be asked to stand on one leg to gauge if you are able to hold balance. If you wobble around, it is taken as a sign that you are not sober.
Blood alcohol tests
Following a field sobriety test, the officer will want to take a blood alcohol content test which requires you to blow into a breathalyzer to see if your BAC is above the legal limit. This is another test that you may technically refuse but it likely will just result in arrest and further consequences in doing so. It is also important to note that if you are being questioned in regards to an accident and especially if anyone was hurt then in most states you will not have the option to decline a breathalyzer test.
Arrest or ticket
At this point, if you pass all the tests with flying colors you will still most likely end up receiving a ticket for whatever reason you were pulled over in the first place such as speeding or swerving and if you end up failing the tests that you will most likely be arrested and booked.
In the end, getting pulled over and suspected of a DUI is never a pleasant experience so the most important thing to remember is just don’t chance it. If you have been drinking or are even just too tired to safely drive then consider having a friend drive or call and Uber but even a small mistake could end up costing lives. Stay safe out there!