Colonial Heights DUI Drug Field Sobriety Tests

Colonial Heights DUI drug field sobriety tests are very similar to the field sobriety tests for alcohol-related DUIs. A failure to pass these tests may lead to a person being suspected of a drug DUI violation. Seasoned DUI lawyers could help individuals dispute any allegations the authorities may try to charge them with.

Divided Attention Tests in Drug DUI Stops

Police officers will begin giving DUI drug field sobriety tests in Colonial Heights with what is called a divided attention test. These are tests designed to make someone do two things at once because the science shows that an intoxicated individual could have issues doing multiple simple tasks at the same time. A person who is not under the influence would not have those same issues. The officers begin by speaking to the person while they are still seated in the car. They could begin by conducting a field sobriety test in making observations and in determining if they will arrest a person for DUI. The individual may be subject to pre-tests that do not demand them to get up and do anything. A person could take them while sitting in the vehicle.

Pre-Tests Conducted Inside the Vehicle

Finger Dexterity Test

When taking a finger dexterity test, the person must touch their thumb to their pointer, middle ring, and pinky and then repeat the process in reverse while counting, “1, 2, 3, 4…4, 3, 2, 1.” The police may also give an alphabet test where they will ask an individual to say their alphabet from two random numbers without singing. The alphabet test is typically not recited backward in this case.

Counting Test

In a counting test, the person has to count in reverse from two random numbers. This is normally not done using intervals of 5s and 10s since those are easier to remember. An example of this could be requiring the person to count backward from a 38 to 17.

The Three Main Standard Field Sobriety Tests

After those tests are completed, the Colonial Heights officer could ask the individual to step out of their vehicle for the DUI drug field sobriety test, which is referred to as a standard field sobriety test. The three main examinations a person could take is the horizontal gaze and nystagmus, the one-legged stand, and the nine-step walk and turn.

Horizontal Gaze and Nystagmus

In the horizontal gaze and nystagmus, the officer will ask an individual to focus on a pen or a light. The officer will wave the pen or light back and forth across the individual’s line of sight looking for what is referred to as nystagmus, or the jumping of the eyes uncontrollably. During this process, the police may ask themselves the following questions:

  • Are the person’s eyes jumping in the fashion of nystagmus at maximum deviation?
  • Are the person’s eyes jumping once their eyes are all the way to the right or all the way to the left?

Officers then look for a lack of smooth pursuit by checking if the person’s eyes have the ability to track the stimulus that is in front of them.

Nine-Step Walk and Turn

This test requires a person to either follow a line or imaginary line and take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn around using small steps, then take by two heel-to-toe steps back towards the spot they began in. Officers will look for:

  • An inability to maintain balance in the person
  • The person’s arms coming out too far from the sides of the body to maintain balance
  • The individual starting the tests before the instructions are completed
  • Whether the person is stepping heel-to-toe and staying on the line

One-Legged Stand Test

With the one-legged stand, the individual is asked to stand on a leg and to hold their leg approximately six inches off the ground with the toe pointed to the foot that is flat. The person must then count, “1, 1,000, 2, 1,000, 3, 1,000…” and so on until they are stopped. While they are doing this, the officers observe to see if they able to count and maintain their balance. Officers check to see if their arms rise up too far from their side or if they ever put the opposite foot down.

Call an Attorney to Learn More About DUI Drug Field Sobriety Tests

While a DUI drug conviction may have significant consequences on a person’s personal and professional life, an accomplished attorney could champion your case. A lawyer with experience in Colonial Heights DUI drug field sobriety tests could challenge the validity of these tests and may be able to build a defense on their behalf.