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Understanding suspicion of DUI

| Oct 23, 2020 | Criminal Defense

DUI stands for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An officer in New Jersey can pull a driver over if they suspect that the driver is intoxicated. The officer may conduct a sobriety test to prove or remove their suspicion and make arrests if needed. The court needs proof of intoxication to make a conviction, which involves several factors.

Initial inquiry

Erratic driving is the initial inquiry of a DUI that may include speeding, driving too slowly or weaving in an out of lanes. This gives the officer a reason to pull the vehicle over. If the officer smells alcohol, they have a right to do an investigation.

Sobriety tests

The officer may ask the driver to perform several sobriety tests. To test for horizontal gaze, the officer shines a light in the person’s eyes or moves their finger or another object back and forth. If a person is under the influence, the brain won’t be able to control the eye muscle to follow the object, which causes a jerking movement.

If the driver fails the vision test, the officer will commonly conduct other sobriety tests. During the heel-to-toe walk, the officer has the driver attempt to walk a straight line. The person must also be able to balance on one leg for several seconds. Failing any test could result in a DUI charge.

Blood alcohol tests

A blood alcohol concentration test, or BAC, may be used if the officer takes the driver to the police station. BAC tests use the breath or blood to measure the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. The legal limit in most of the United States is 0.08, but it varies by jurisdiction. A BAC of greater than 0.08 usually results in an arrest of DUI suspicion.

A driver could face jail time for DUI, which comes with other stiff penalties. An individual accused of DUI may want their case to be handled by a qualified attorney for the best possible outcome.

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