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Blood and Breath Tests in Wheeling
Police officers frequently request individuals to participate in at least one – and sometimes multiple – DUI tests. This is part of their standard operating procedure. The outcomes of these tests form the basis for the majority of DUI charges, as they aim to determine whether your ability to drive has been impaired by drugs or alcohol.
There exist four types of tests utilized to assess your sobriety level:
- Field sobriety tests performed at the side of the road
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Breath tests
It is important to note that all of these tests have the possibility of indicating intoxication even when not present and vice versa. In cases where you are wrongly indicated as intoxicated, you may still be arrested. However, with the assistance of a highly skilled Wheeling WV criminal attorney, it is possible to scrutinize the test outcomes, as well as the examiner and test administration, in order to identify any errors that may have occurred. By uncovering such errors, it is possible to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Field Sobriety Tests
These tests are administered at the side of the road. Their purpose is to evaluate your balance, coordination, and responses to help law enforcement determine if you are intoxicated. The National Highway Safety Administration has standardized these tests, which are implemented in all fifty states.
One example of these tests is the Walk and Turn Test. During this test, you are asked to walk in a straight line, heel-to-toe, while counting your steps. It is important to perform this task without losing your balance or stumbling. If you fail to accurately count your steps, deviate from the instructions, or use your arms for balance, the officer may conclude that you are intoxicated.
Another test is the One Leg Stand Test. In this test, you are instructed to stand with both feet together and elevate one leg, maintaining your balance while counting out loud. The duration of the test is thirty seconds. If you lose count, hop, lower your foot, or are unable to maintain your balance, the officer may determine that you are impaired.
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test is commonly used by law enforcement officers to detect signs of drug and alcohol usage. During the test, you are instructed to track the movement of a pen, flashlight, or the officer’s finger with your eyes only, without moving your head. The officer carefully examines for any jerky or involuntary eye movements, which can indicate impairment.
Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) have several issues that need to be addressed. First, they are conducted on the side of the road, often under challenging weather conditions and limited visibility. Additionally, the condition of the road surface can impact the accuracy of the tests, with West Virginia’s roads frequently presenting challenges like banked surfaces, potholes, and narrow lanes.
Numerous factors, such as medical conditions, weight, and age, contribute to the ability to perform these tests successfully. Overweight individuals may struggle with tests like Walk and Turn or One Leg Stand, while senior citizens may experience difficulties with balance. Furthermore, legal prescriptions and specific medical conditions can hinder adequate test performance, regardless of sobriety.
Inaccurate test results can also arise from insufficient officer training. If an officer lacks proper training in conducting FSTs, their interpretations of the test outcomes could be flawed.
When facing charges of Operating a Vehicle Impaired (DUI), it is crucial to consult a seasoned Wheeling WV DUI lawyer like Sean Logue. With a decade of experience defending clients in similar cases, Mr. Logue possesses the expertise to scrutinize field sobriety test results effectively and ask the right questions.
Blood, Breath, and Urine Tests
In West Virginia, implied consent laws dictate that by signing for a driver’s license, individuals affirm their agreement to undergo chemical DUI testing if requested by law enforcement. These tests, including blood, breath, and urine tests, can take place at police stations, state trooper barracks, or hospitals.
Keep in mind that refusal to comply with these tests will result in automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
If you have been asked to perform field sobriety or chemical testing to determine intoxication while driving, reach out to Mountaineer Criminal Law Group immediately to protect your rights and receive professional assistance.
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