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Field Sobriety Tests Archives

When a law-enforcement "expert" is not, well, an expert

Imagine a scenario in which a police officer has been deigned as a so-called "drug recognition expert" based upon participation in a departmental training program. And then further imagine that individual subsequently being lauded for using that training to arrest 90 people in DUI/DUID stops in a single year.

Are field sobriety tests subjective, fallible? You bet they are.

Today's post focuses on some problematic issues relevant to the field sobriety testing conducted by police officers in Colorado and elsewhere on motorists they suspect may be driving drunk.

What kinds of field sobriety tests are there?

There are a few different field sobriety tests that you can be asked to take if you're stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving. These roadside tests include things like portable Breathalyzer tests and also performance-based activities like walking in a straight line or touching your nose with your finger. Many of these tests seem easy when you're not intoxicated, but when under the influence, it can be difficult to complete them accurately.

What are the three field sobriety tests?

A field sobriety test is used to determine whether a driver is intoxicated. Three kinds of tests are standardized for use in the field and endorsed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

Man's Colorado DUIs may count against him

A Montana man's previous convictions for driving under the influence in Colorado may influence his sentencing, following his eighth DUI arrest in another state. The man was pulled over after passing a police officer at a reported speed of 51 miles per hour in an area zoned at 35 mph.

On the validity of field sobriety tests

You can probably imagine a movie scene in your mind where the protagonist, down on his or her luck, makes a poor decision and decides to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk. The protagonist inevitably gets pulled over, and he or she eventually gets caught. The protagonist then is embarrassed by a police officer that makes them perform a wide variety of silly acts and stunts to prove his or her inebriation.

Here are a few ways to help your side of the DUI case

As we have talked about many times before on this blog, a drunk driving charge can change a person's life. As such, every step of the DUI process is important, because the tiniest mistake by the police could give the accused person a glimmer of hope. So, let's talk about the initial traffic stop that triggers a DUI charge. How could the accused person behave in this situation to bolster their defense?

Dark night?

The legend of the caped crusader endures. The stone-faced crime fighter is a mysterious figure. No one is quite sure who the Dark Knight might be behind the imposing mask. Now the Denver Police Department is adopting a mobile tool to help in its efforts to curtail drunk driving; a tool that will remind many of the Batman.

What purpose does the horizontal gaze nystagmus have?

If you've ever watched a police procedural show involving a suspected drunk driver or have been pulled over yourself in real life, chances are you've seen an officer shine a flashlight on an individual and then asked them to follow the movement of a pen or finger. If you're like some of our Denver readers, you might not know why officers do this or what it has to do with determining intoxication.