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You must understand the standardized field sobriety test

Even though you understand the risks of drinking and driving, there could come a point when you consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Many people make this mistake because they believe they are sober enough to drive.

If police pull you over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you need to understand what will happen in the moments to follow. Generally speaking, the officer will perform a three part test.

Known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), this test is endorsed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and consists of the following:

  • Walk and turn. This test is exactly what it sounds like. The officer requests that you take nine steps, heel to toe in one direction. Upon reaching the end, you should turn on one foot and do the same in the other direction.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus. Even when a person is sober, the eye jerks when gazing to the side. However, when a person is under the influence, the jerking is much more noticeable.
  • One leg stand. With this test, you will stand on one leg with the other roughly six inches off the ground. You will need to stand in the same spot for 30 seconds, all without putting the foot on the ground or hopping.

According to past studies, when all three tests are used together they indicate alcohol impairment in more than 90 percent of cases.

Of course, the Standardized Field Sobriety Test is anything but perfect. For instance, if you are older or have a health problem, you may find it difficult to stand on one foot or perform the walk and turn test.

There is a lot to think about after a DUI arrest, but nothing is more important than knowing your legal rights and the best way to defend yourself in court.

With the potential for a serious punishment, including license suspension and a large fine, you don't want to give in and hope for the best. You need to protect your rights at all costs.

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