Driving under the influence is a big deal that can have serious consequences. And while many may not have had malicious intent when driving while intoxicated, the outcome could potentially be life-threatening to themselves and others. It’s for this reason that law enforcement will usually investigate if a person is indeed intoxicated when there is suspicion. To give better clarity on what happens, here is what most will experience if getting pulled over for suspicion of a DUI.
When getting pulled over and the officer thinks you may be intoxicated. One of the first things they will do is ask you to do a series of tasks known as a field sobriety test. There are three main things they will ask, the first being called a horizontal gaze nystagmus. During this, the office will take an object such as a pen and put in front of your eyes at an angle to see for irregular eye movements such as bouncing or darting that reveal inebriation. The second test requires the person to walk in a straight line with one foot directly in front of the other from heel to toe and then turning. This is to evaluate how well the person can follow simple instructions and the ability to walk normally. The final test is known as the one leg stand which is rather self-explanatory and is used to see if the person is able to balance.
After evaluating balance and basic function testing, the officer will ask to have the person breathe into a breathalyzer to measure the BAC or Blood Alcohol Content. This shows how much blood is detected in the bloodstream and there a legal limits it needs to be under otherwise a charge can be made depending on how over the limit the result is. It’s important to note that while technically a person does have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer or the field sobriety tests, but there are consequences such as a suspended license and a possible fee.
If after testing has concluded, the officer believes the person is not intoxicated, they will most likely still issue a ticket for whatever driving offense has occurred but if the various tests relevel that the person is indeed under the influence, they will be arrested and taken into custody.
Overall, it is understandable that sometimes finding a way home after drinking can be a pain but the alternative can really cause problems possibly including serious injury or death. So stay safe and use a designated driver when needed!