When you imagine being stopped for drunk driving, you picture the field sobriety tests you often see in movies and on television. And field sobriety tests are indeed the most common methods officers use when trying to determine if someone is driving under the influence. The accuracy of these tests, and whether they were performed correctly, are just two of the thing a Los Angeles DUI attorney will look at when defending your case. Choosing to go with an experienced professional who knows the ins and outs of California DUI laws is the best way to help ensure that one DUI charge does not ruin the rest of your life.
There are various ways that field sobriety tests can be given. Either one or many can be administered at a DUI checkpoint or any pull over where an officer suspects a driver is over the legal alcohol limit and should not be behind the wheel. An officer may ask someone to walk and turn, stand on one leg, follow a pencil with their eyes, recite the alphabet or touch your finger to your nose. While none of these things can prove intoxication beyond a shadow of a doubt, they are enough to arouse suspicion and possibly warrant a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. And, while many states across the US have chosen to only use three of these tests—the walk and turn, the one-leg test and the following a pencil test—California is one state that still chooses to use the other field sobriety tests that have been found by some to be inaccurate. Your Los Angeles DUI attorney may use this fact as part of your defense, even though these tests are acceptable by California law.
Sometimes these field test will lead you to taking a breath test using a new handheld device known as a Preliminary Alcohol Screener. These PAS tests are not required unless you are under 21, and your DUI attorney in Los Angeles if you took one without knowing what your rights were. While many judges are fine with this field test being the only one given to determine your BAC, its accuracy can come into question during your day in court.
If you have been charged with a DUI understand that it is a serious offense that can change your life. Maybe you feel you were unjustly charged, or maybe you understand the mistake that you made when you got behind the wheel. If you do not want it to affect the rest of your life, call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles today to get the best defense possible.