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Conway Criminal Law Blog

Were field sobriety tests part of your DUI stop?

Drunk driving arrests are common in South Carolina and throughout the country. In fact, thousands of these arrests occur in America each year and DUI is probably one of the most common criminal charges people might face. However, even though these arrests are occurring throughout the country by any number of law enforcement agencies every day, there is usually one common factor in most of them – field sobriety tests.

So, were field sobriety tests part of your DUI stop? In all likelihood, the answer is “yes.” Law enforcement officials use these tests to help them further assess whether or not they can determine if a driver is allegedly intoxicated – thereby justifying an arrest.

Common field sobriety tests

There are three common field sobriety tests that usually occur at DUI stops: the walk-and-turn test; the one-leg stand test; and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is more commonly understood as the “watch my pen as it moves back-and-forth” test. The walk-and-turn test involves walking a straight line, heel to toe, and then turning around and walking back down the same line again. The one-leg stand test if fairly self-explanatory: the suspect is asked to stand on one leg and stand steady for a certain amount of time. Both of these tests are designed to test a suspect’s coordination, balance and ability to follow instructions. Failure may indicate intoxication. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test checks for involuntary jerking in the eyes of a suspect that also might indicate intoxication.

If you have been arrested for DUI in South Carolina, you need to start planning your criminal defense strategy immediately. For more information about how we might be able to help, please visit DUI overview section of our law firm’s website.