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Understanding field sobriety tests

If you have heard people talk about being arrested for drunk driving, you may know that a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent is the legal threshold at or above which you may be considered intoxicated. However, a BAC reading may not necessarily be the only test you take. Before a law enforcement officer arrests you and charges you with drunk driving, you may be asked to participate in field sobriety tests.

It is important for you to understand what these tests are and what they indicate. As explains, these tests do not prove that you are intoxicated. Instead, they are meant to give officers enough evidence to indicate that you might be intoxicated. It is essentially a means of gathering probable cause to place you under arrest. There are three different tests that are approved as standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One of these tests evaluates a type of jerking of the eye that involuntarily happens. This jerking may enhance under the influence of alcohol. The other two tests measure your ability to balance, to listen and repeat very specific instructions and to perform multiple acts at one time, all while under the pressure of knowing you may be about to be arrested. These tests are not always 100 percent accurate as many factors may play into your ability to pass them.

If you would like to learn more about field sobriety tests and what they really require from you, please feel free to visit the drunk driving arrest page of our Nebraska criminal defense website.

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