One of the most common calls that a bail bondsman receives is requesting bail bond service for persons who’ve been arrested for driving under the influence. These cases can be quite difficult to prove, and oftentimes over-zealous officers arrest people on suspicion of driving under the influence with soft proof. If you or a loved one is pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, you may have to undergo a field sobriety test. These tests can often be inconclusive or report false positives.
It’s important to not be scared when multiple officers arrive on scene. This is for the officer’s safety, as well as yours. Here’s what you can expect from a field sobriety test, as performed by a police officer:
A Balance Test
The suspect will be requested to close his or her eyes, tilt their head back slightly, and remain in that position for an estimated period of time, usually 30-60 seconds. An officer will suspect an intoxicated driver if he views swaying, bouncing on the driver’s feet, or opening eyes.
Walk the Line
An officer will ask the driver to walk along a straight line, heel-to-toe, then to turn and walk the same distance back. This test is administered to test a driver’s ability to follow directions and maintain balance.
Finger to Nose
A suspected intoxicated driver will be asked to stand straight, with eyes closed and slowly touch the tip of their nose with the tip of their index finger. As with other tests, the officer will look for swaying, tremors or twitches, and blatant missing of the nose with the finger.
Follow the Light
The officer will ask the driver to follow the light from a pen-sized flashlight as it moves from left to right and back. Signs of intoxication include twitching eyes, inability to follow the light, or excessive blinking.
An officer may administer other tests, including blood tests, breathalyzers, or other mobility tests. One “test” that may be administered is to hold your hands in front of your chest in a praying position, then slowly bring them behind your back. When this “test” is being administered, don’t be too surprised when you feel cold steel handcuffs around your wrists. You’ll be taken in for booking and allowed to make a phone call.
That’s when it’s time to call a loved one. You may need bailed out! Remember that the best way of passing a sobriety test is to never drink and drive.