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What to Expect During a Standard Field Sobriety Test in Texas

Driving in Texas

You already know that drinking and driving is against the law and a perilous mistake to make. But let’s say for instance, that you are at a company happy hour after work after a few beers and make the decision to drive home afterward. You begin driving erratically, or maybe you just miss a stop sign and are pulled over by a police officer. Your mind may be swimming with uncertainty about what’s going to happen. There are a few specific things you can expect when you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence.

First, if the officer suspects that you are under the influence, they will ask if you have been drinking. It’s no use lying in this situation, because regardless of your answer, the officer may ask you to conduct a field sobriety test.

In Texas, there are a few different types of sobriety tests you may be asked to take part in; the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the one-legged stand, and the walk and turn.

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

This test, also called the flashlight test, tests your eyes for jerk responses when exposed to a small flashlight or pen. The officer will ask you to use your gaze and follow the object in a straight line while watching your eyesight for jerking motions. They use their judgment to determine if your gaze seems erratic or unfocused. This is not the most accurate test to determine if you are under the influencer and is usually combined with one or both of the other tests.

The One-Legged Stand

If the officer asks you to do the one-legged-stand test, here’s what you can expect. You will be asked to stand on one foot, with the other foot six inches above the ground with your toes pointed and leg straight. The office will likely ask you to count out loud for up to 30 seconds. They may also ask you to raise your arms, hop or switch legs to see how well you respond to the instruction and whether you seem steady, or are showing more signs of intoxication.

The Walk and Run

During this field sobriety test, the officer will ask you to walk about ten steps in a straight line, heel to toe. Then you’ll have to turn on your feet and do it the other way. This test is deceptively simple, but the officers will be looking for indicators that you are intoxicated in how you respond to this test. Some signs they look for include if you can start on their instruction, you count your steps correctly, how well you understand the “heel-to-toe” concept, as well as your overall demeanor during the test.

If at any point, you are placed under arrest, do not resist the officer and remember to remain calm. The next step is to find an attorney who can help get you through your charges. Don’t rely on internet advice to navigate the legal system after a DUI arrest.

You need a qualified attorney who will listen and understand the specifics of your case. If you are facing a DUI or DWI charge in Houston, call Christopher T. Gore at (713) 223-1600. Learn more about how he can best represent your case and help you move forward.

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