Before you are asked to have your Blood Alcohol Concentration tested after being pulled over for a suspected DUI, you will first be asked to perform one or more field sobriety tests to see if there is evidence that more testing is even necessary. These tests must follow lawful procedure and if they are not, that can become a defense strategy that your San Jose DUI lawyer uses at your trial.
Field sobriety tests are not always the only evidence used to prove that someone was driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. But, if an officer determines you failed any of these tests he can ask you to take a Blood Alcohol Concentration test via a breathalyzer at the scene. Now, a breathalyzer test will not detect drugs in your system, but if your BAC is .08% or above, then you are driving over the legal limit and can be arrested.
One of the most common and accurate field sobriety tests is being asked to walk in a straight line and turn. Another test thought to be accurate is following a pencil with your eye that an officer is holding. Other tests that experts agree are not quite as accurate include touching your nose with your finger and also reciting the alphabet. However, these tests are still used and can be admissible in court as evidence.
While there is no way to prove definitively that you are not fit to be behind the wheel, field sobriety tests can often give an indication to the officer on the scene. Your DUI attorney in San Jose will educate you on the importance and accuracy of any tests received and also ask if you were informed that you had the right to refuse. The breathalyzer device you may be asked to use is called a Preliminary Alcohol Screener and if you are under 21 you do not have the right of refusal. If you did take one and were not informed of your refusal rights, then that is something your lawyer can use in your defense.
Whether a first time offender or not, a DUI charge and conviction can change the course of your life. You may be forced to pay steep fines, can lose your license for an extended period of time and can even spend some time behind bars. Do not fight this battle alone and call a DUI lawyer in San Jose today for help.