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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois

 Posted on January 15,2019 in DUI

Naperville Defense Lawyer

Popular television shows like “Cops” have long shown amusing videos of DUI suspects attempting to recite the alphabet or walk in a straight line. While these TV shows have tried to entertain us with failed attempts to complete field sobriety tests during DUI traffic stops, neither DUIs or field sobriety tests are laughing matters. These tests are administered to DUI suspects as evidence to support an arrest and they can also be used as evidence in the court of law when a person is being tried for a DUI. 

Standardized vs. Non-Standardized Tests

When it comes to field sobriety tests, there are two types: standardized and non-standardized. Most police forces use a combination of both types of tests, though standardized tests are the most widely accepted. Standardized tests are also usually the only tests that hold up as evidence against a DUI suspect in court. In the 1970s, the three standardized field sobriety tests were developed. Over the years, these tests have been studied, and it has been determined that standardized field sobriety tests can detect if a person is too impaired to drive around 90 percent of the time.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test

Perhaps the most scientific of the three, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test measures the involuntary jerking of the eyeball, which is exaggerated when you are intoxicated. During the test, the officer will move an object such as a pen, a flashlight or his or her finger from side to side in front of you. The officer will ask you to follow the object with your eyes only, as he is looking to observe when nystagmus occurs in your eyes and how noticeable it is.

Walk-and-Turn Test

During this test, an officer will instruct you to walk nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turn on one foot and return in the same manner. During the test, the officer will be looking for signs of impairment. These signs can include your ability to balance during the walk or complete the test while listening to instructions, or stopping during the test or using your arms to regain your balance.

One-Leg Stand Test

In this test, the officer will tell you to raise one of your feet about six inches off of the ground while you count out loud to a specified number starting at 1,000. The officer will time you for 30 seconds and look for indicators you are impaired, which include swaying while trying to balance yourself, using your arms to balance or putting your foot down.

Contact a Will County DUI Defense Attorney

Though the validity of both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests is often still debated, standardized field sobriety tests still hold up as evidence in court. A skilled Aurora, IL DUI defense lawyer will go over the details of your case and determine the legitimacy of your field sobriety tests. The Law Office of Patricia Magana, LLC can build a defense strategy designed to preserve your driving privileges. Call us today at 630-448-2001 to schedule a free consultation. Se habla Español.



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