Pennsylvania residents who are under suspicion of drinking while driving will usually be subjected to two different types of tests: field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests. These tests are crucial to law enforcement officers, who use them to determine what a person’s charges should be.
Field sobriety tests are often the first step. If an officer has reason to believe that a person is driving under the influence, they can administer this kind of test. The National Traffic Highway and Safety Administration states that there’s a very high chance of accurately determining if someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is over .08 using a standardized field sobriety test. The standardized tests include standing on one leg, walking and turning, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test which measures the movement of a person’s eyes. Non-standardized tests exist as well, but are not used as often as they are easier to dismiss in court.
The more definitive testing tool is the breathalyzer test, or other breath analyzer tests. Defined by The Free Dictionary as a device used to detect the alcohol in a person’s breath, it measures the breath in order to get an accurate count of the user’s BAC level. Some believe that it is better to refuse to take a BAC test because of the certainty of this number. However, there are legal arguments against refusal, as a person can face more consequences for refusing and may also make themselves look guilty.
When someone is facing DUI-related charges, it’s important to get a strong legal defense. Understanding how these tools work is also of crucial importance to a person’s overall case.