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Drunk driving: when one or two becomes four or more

The day began innocently enough. It was a Sunday afternoon in Portsmouth, and you and a few buddies went out to the ball game. A few beers and a few hotdogs later, the game is over and you head over to bar. A couple more rounds are consumed and then you head towards home.

Then you see the police lights and hear the siren behind you. You’ve been pulled over, and the officer wants to you to perform a field sobriety test. In many cases, a police officer who suspects you may be driving under the influence has a series of tests he can run to prove your insobriety.

In addition to asking you to perform a breath test, there are a few common field sobriety tests you may be asked to perform to determine whether you are driving while impaired. The horizontal gaze nystagmus is done by studying the eyes of a suspected drunk driver while gazing from side to side. If you have ever been drunk, you know your physical abilities may be compromised. The police know this as well, so they may ask you to do a one-leg stand. This may be a slightly difficult action to do sober, meaning that if you are intoxicated, your actions, or inactions and inability, may be an indication of your insobriety. The officer may also ask a suspected drunk driver to take nine steps, toe to heel, then turn around and return, all in a straight line. This too may be very difficult for someone who is impaired.

A DUI charge can lead to a conviction, which comes with very serious and expensive ramifications including a driver’s license revocation, fines, possible jail time and extensive insurance surcharges. If you find yourself facing such charges, you owe it to yourself and your future to enter the courts in the best situation possible, which may mean finding a strong criminal defense lawyer to help you fight the charges.

Source: FindLaw, “Field Sobriety Tests,” Accessed April 24, 2017



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