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Do I Need to Participate in a Field Sobriety Test?

March 9th, 2018 at 7:18 am

drunk driving, DUI charge, field sobriety test, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI attorneyRed, white, and blue represent freedom in the United States, but those take on a completely different meaning when you see them flashing in the rearview mirror of your car. Being pulled over can be scary and you might not be sure what to expect. If a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, a simple traffic stop turns into much more.

Illinois Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study to determine what sobriety tests are the most effective in determining if a suspect is driving under the influence. Illinois uses “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” on individuals to determine their intoxication. It is imperative that individuals understand what these tests are so that they are better equipped should a situation arise when they are faced with the question of participating in them.

  • Walk and Turn: This is a test that officers use to judge your balance and if you stagger while you walk. This test requires that you walk in a straight line, heel to toe, for nine paces and then turn around and walk back to the start. Arms are kept at your side, and the officer may instruct you to count the steps (one through nine) out loud.
  • One Leg Stand: This test also judges your balance and ability to follow directions. You will stand with your legs together and then the officer will instruct you to lift one leg off of the ground and stand there. Usually, the officer will instruct you to lift your foot six inches off the ground for up to 30 seconds.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This is a more “complex” test and it produces the most reliable results of the field sobriety tests. The officer will look for involuntary jerking of your eyes that is linked to alcohol consumption. The officer will move his finger, or a pen, from side to side and instruct you to follow it with your eyes.

Participation Requirements

Illinois law does not require you to participate in field sobriety tests. You are allowed to refuse any field sobriety test that the officer wants to conduct. There are no penalties for refusing the sobriety test. This is different than other states that will use this refusal to participate in a field sobriety test against you in further charges. Again, it is likely that you will be arrested after refusing a field sobriety test, but there are no further penalties associated with the refusal.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, or submitted to field sobriety tests, but wish you had not, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will explore every option and defense that is available to you. Reach out to a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office today for immediate help with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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Written by Staff Writer

March 9th, 2018 at 7:18 am

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