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Stamford Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are tests that are conducted by police officers across the nation to determine if a person is under the influence of alcohol while they are driving their car.

To better understand how field sobriety tests play a role in Stamford DUI cases, it is imperative to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Stamford can best assist an individual through their criminal proceedings.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is typically the first Stamford field sobriety test the police officer will conduct on a person when they ask them to step out of their car. An officer will then ask the person to keep their head forward and follow the pen with just their eyes as the officer moves the pencil left and right.

In these cases, law enforcement officers are looking for the way the person’s eyes behave as they move the pen back and forth. Research shows that if a person’s eyes, at certain points, begin to jerk or go back and forth, then it indicates that the person may be under the influence of alcohol.

Walk and Turn

The second field sobriety test that an officer will administer in Stamford is the walk and turn test. They will ask the person to put one foot in front of the other and walk a certain number of steps before turning around and walking back.

The person must walk on an imaginary line and count out loud while the police officer looks for clues to see if the individual is under the influence of alcohol.

If the person is swaying, raises their arms too high for balance, falls off the line, starts too soon, does not count the right number of steps, or is not heel to toe in every step, the officer may be able to deduce that the person has a blood alcohol content of over 0.08.

One Leg Stand

The one leg stand test is the third field sobriety test that officers will administer in Stamford. They will ask the person to stand on one leg, the leg of their choice, point their toe forward, keep their foot a certain number of inches off the ground, and look at their foot and count.

At any point, law enforcement officers are looking for clues that the person is intoxicated. If the person puts their foot down, cannot balance, falls over, does not count correctly, or does not listen to instructions, those are all clues that a person is intoxicated.

Test Administration

These Stamford field sobriety tests must be administered in a certain way. They are standardized field sobriety tests, which means that there is a certain way they need to be administered.

If they are not administered by the book, then it compromises the validity of the test. If it is done wrong, the police officer may get the impression that the person is intoxicated when they are not.