ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Field Sobriety Tests

Updated on June 2, 2013

Women Suspected of DUI

by Amber Maccione

Have you ever been out driving and you notice a vehicle that just cannot seem to stay within the lines or seems to be swerving all over the road? If you have, your first instinct is that the person is drunk or falling asleep at the wheel. Therefore, to protect yourself, you either: speed up and pass them so that you can avoid them all together or you slow down and pull back so you do not end up getting hit. As a police officer, your option is quite clear: you must pull them over to see what is going on because it is your duty to keep the roads safe for other drivers. The only way to find out if a person is driving under the influence is to pull them over, observe their behavior, and make a decision based on observation and field sobriety tests.

Walk the Line

Source

Summary of Video

In one example of someone driving under the influence, the police officer noticed a car changing lanes and swerving in and out of the lines for quite some time. Even after he turned on his lights for the individual to pull over, she kept driving and swerving unaware that the officer wanted her to pull over. Eventually she pulled over her car and the officer approached (CopsCarsandCrashes 2009).

When the officer got to the car, he followed routine. He told her he had been following her for some time and that she was swerving. Then he asked her if she had had anything to drink. She replied with no. Therefore, the officer took her at her word and asked for her license, registration, and insurance. But quickly he had to stop her to tell her numerous times to place her car in park, which she seemed to have some difficulty knowing how to do (CopsCarsandCrashes 2009).

With having observed the woman swerving, not pulling over right away, and not knowing how to place her car in park, he had suspicion that the woman was probably driving under the influence. Therefore, he had her step out of her car to complete some field sobriety tests. The woman could not pass. As she tried to bend over and tie her shoes, the officer had to steady her from falling over and help her get her balance once she was standing up right. Then he had her complete one test – the walk the line. She couldn’t do it. She was wobbly, swerving, and stumbling over her own feet. With what he had observed, he arrested her for a DUI (driving under the influence) (CopsCarsandCrashes 2009).

Ethanol & Blood Alcohol Concetration

A police officer’s observation and completion of sobriety tests are really all he has to stand on when testifying whether he was correct in charging an individual with a DUI. Ethanol, one of the chemicals found in alcohol that affects a person’s coordination, vision, and reaction time cannot be smelled or seen. So when an officer pulls someone over for a suspected DUI, just smelling alcohol on someone is not enough to say that they were driving under the influence. The officer has to have some proof that the person’s coordination, vision, and/or reaction time was impaired to validate them arresting someone for a DUI. Therefore, documenting their observations of a person when they pull the individual over and conducting sobriety tests right then and there are important to their testimony in getting a DUI conviction of a person in court.

Another reason field sobriety tests along with the documented observation is for the blood alcohol concentration. Weight, height, sex, and metabolism of an individual can obstruct the blood alcohol level of a person between the time they were pulled over and observed to the time they get to the jail and are given a blood test to find out the actual level of intoxication. Someone could be physically intoxicated at the scene, but be sober by the time they arrive at the jail. If an officer does not get evidence at the scene of the crime (observation of impaired coordination, vision, and reaction time with the field sobriety tests), it could ruin their ability to have a DUI charge stick in court because a person’s blood alcohol level could have changed between the time of arrest and the time their blood was drawn at the jail.

Field Sobriety Tests

Are field sobreity tests reliable evidence for convicting someone of a DUI?

See results

With the video of this one woman being arrested for a DUI, it was quite apparent that she was intoxicated by the field sobriety test and the fact that she lacked basic coordination that a regular person should be able to do when operating a vehicle while being sober. Although some could argue that there could be other reasons for why she couldn’t do simple tasks such as put her car in park, tie her shoe, and walk, the field sobriety test and the police’s observation were solid evidence to use in court as to why this woman should be convicted of a DUI. And it also shows how these tests are solid tools for officers to use so that they can keep you safe as you drive to your destination.

Resources

CopsCarsandCrashes. (2009, February 8). Top 3 sobriety tests – number 2 [Video clip].

Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jydBvk7R5wU&feature=youtu.be



Copyright © 2013 http://ambercita04.hubpages.com/ All Rights Reserved

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)