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Sobriety Tests

Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a common problem. It's also dangerous, risking your safety and the lives of those around you. A DUI arrest and conviction will impact your life for many years.

To encourage drivers to avoid drugged or drunk driving and to protect the public, states have been enacting stronger DUI laws. Police take part in specialized training to help identify intoxicated drivers. A crucial part of this training involves using and giving sobriety tests.

Sobriety Test Basics

When a police officer conducts a motor vehicle traffic stop and suspects a DUI, they will conduct one or more tests to determine impairment. Sobriety tests generally consist of two main types. Standardized field sobriety tests (SFST or FST) are usually performed during your traffic stop but can happen after your arrest.

The second type of sobriety test is a chemical test. Chemical tests may involve the officer asking you to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS), such as a Breathalyzer or breath test. Chemical tests may include blood tests, urine, or other bodily fluid analysis. These tests determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and look for drugs and other intoxicants.

Sobriety tests are an important part of a DUI case. FSTs can give a police officer probable cause to arrest you on a DUI charge. Chemical tests provide more evidence of your intoxication. If chemical test results show your BAC level is at or above the state's legal limit, you are per se intoxicated. Per se intoxication means that law enforcement doesn't need further evidence of your intoxication to prove its case against you.

Questions about Sobriety Tests? Talk to a DUI Attorney

If you have questions about sobriety tests or are facing a DUI, seek out an experienced DUI defense attorney in your area. A DUI arrest and conviction can affect your life for many years. Only an attorney can look at your case and give accurate legal advice.

Learn About Sobriety Tests

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
  • A lawyer can help get your license back

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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