Breathalyzers and Field Sobriety Tests at DUI Checkpoints
In recent years, law enforcement has made a concerted effort to crack down on drunk driving. A main component of this campaign is DUI checkpoints, or areas that officers use to catch drunk drivers. In most cases, these checkpoints are impossible to see from afar. Police use a pattern for pulling over drivers at DUI checkpoints. For example, an officer might pull over every third car that passes the area. Once the driver has been stopped, they are evaluated for signs of drug or alcohol intoxication.
While the best way to avoid a DUI is to always drive sober, DUI checkpoints can appear at the worst of times. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you need a skilled attorney to defend your rights. The Pittsburgh DUI attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC know that a criminal charge can turn your life upside down. If you are convicted, you could face fines, jail time, or worse.
Call (412) 281-2146 now to find out how our dedicated legal team can help you avoid time behind bars.
What are Breathalyzers and Field Sobriety Tests?
When a police officer pulls you over due to suspicion of driving under the influence, it is likely that they will perform a number of tests to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. A breathalyzer is a small machine that detects a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If the device registers anything above .08 percent, the driver can legally be labeled as intoxicated. Another way to determine whether or not a driver is inebriated is to perform field sobriety tests. The three major tests that may be administered include:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – Horizontal gaze nystagmus refers to the jerking of the eye that occurs when a person shifts their gaze from one point to another. This trait tends to be exaggerated in those who have been drinking.
- Walk and Turn – This test consists of a driver being required to take heel-to-toe steps in a straight line. This is a task can even be difficult for unimpaired people.
- One-Leg Stand – In this assessment, the driver is asked to balance on one foot for 30 seconds or more. Any movement, such as swaying, falling, or hopping might point to intoxication.
Your Rights and Failing to Comply
After being pulled over at a DUI checkpoint, you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test. However, refusal of a breathalyzer can result in an administrative driver’s license suspension. The officer may also ask you to perform one or more field sobriety tests. If you show the officer signs of being drunk or under the influence of drugs, you may be arrested or DUI.
Although police officers are interested in quickly moving cars through a DUI checkpoint, they will use breathalyzers and field sobriety tests if necessary. If they have any suspicion that you are under the influence, they may ask you to pull over and comply with their requests.
How Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Can Protect Your Rights
If you are pulled over for a DUI at a DUI checkpoint, it is very likely that you will have to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. In order to administer these tests, the officer only needs to be suspicious of your intoxication. If you have been arrested on DUI charges, you may be worried about the consequences you could face upon conviction. The best way to avoid these penalties is to prevent a guilty verdict in court. The Pittsburgh DUI attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC have helped many good people avoid criminal sentencing.
Call (412) 281-2146 today to see how our team can get your life back on track.