Police Evidence in Drunk Driving

    1. Driving Symptoms: May include weaving in-and-out of lanes and reckless driving. Make sure to visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a list of indicators.
    2. Appearance and Behavior: Personal behavior and appearance play a major role in this category. Alcohol on the breath, thick and/or slurred speech, flushed face, etc.
    3. Field Sobriety Tests: Alphabet recitation, horizontal gaze nystagmus (following an object such as a pen or finger from side-to-side with your eyes), fingers-to-thumb, hand pat, etc. Federal studies have shown that only three tests are effective in detecting intoxication: walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, and nystagmus. Other tests have been disapproved and deemed unreliable. As a result, three standardized field sobriety tests have been recommended and are being adopted by police agencies across the country. In California, however, police officers continue to administer tests of their choosing. Contrary to popular belief, the tests are not required; you may refuse to take them with no legal consequences.
    4. Incriminating Statements: Miranda warning do not need to be given until after the arrest has been made. The officer is free to ask incriminating questions, prior to arrest, during their initial investigation.
    5. Blood Alcohol Test: The test involves a choice of either a breath or blood. Note: the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) units, also called Evidential Portable Alcohol Systems (EPAS), are often given as part of the field sobriety tests, but not legally required (unless you are under 21 years of age) until after an arrest.

For more information, please visit the firm’s website section on DUI evidence or the Drunk Driving Law Center.

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