Field Sobriety Tests in Steubenville
To ensure driver sobriety, Steubenville, Ohio, utilizes Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). These tests, extensively studied by the National Highway Safety Administration and standardized for the use of police officers and highway patrolmen, provide crucial information and are relatively easy to administer.
Let’s take a closer look at the commonly utilized Field Sobriety Tests:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: The officer asks you to track the movement of a pen or similar object with your eyes while keeping your head stationary.
- One-legged stand test: Standing on one leg, you raise your other foot approximately 6 inches off the ground and audibly count. The officer will time you for 30 seconds to assess your stability and accuracy.
- Walk and turn test: You are instructed to walk heel to toe along the road’s white line for a specific number of steps, then turn and return the same way.
However, it is vital to understand that even physically capable and sober individuals may struggle with these tests. Disabilities, illnesses, injuries, or being overweight can negatively impact successful completion, potentially leading to false appearances of intoxication or impairment. Additionally, it’s worth noting that road surfaces can be uneven, especially where the white line is located, and not all officers administer the tests correctly.
It is of utmost importance to know that you are not legally obligated to undergo a field sobriety test. If desired, you have the right to refuse participation in these tests.
Chemical Testing in Ohio and Implied Consent
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, and law enforcement officials in Ohio use chemical testing to determine whether someone is impaired. When you obtained your driver’s license, you implicitly agreed to undergo these tests when requested by the police. In this article, we will explore the different types of chemical tests and the legal implications of refusing them.
The primary types of chemical tests used by law enforcement are blood, breath, and urine tests. During a traffic stop, if an officer suspects DUI, they may ask you to blow into a portable breath machine, also known as a preliminary breath test (PBT), roadside breath test, or breathalyzer. It’s important to note that the reliability and accuracy of these portable breath tests can be questionable, and they are generally not admissible in court.
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety tests will not prevent the police from arresting you if they believe you are intoxicated. Ohio operates under the concept of implied consent, meaning that even if you have the right to refuse these tests, doing so may result in additional charges. For example, refusing a breath test can lead to civil and criminal charges in addition to the charge of Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI). Similarly, refusing a blood test may result in civil charges without criminal implications.
If you find yourself arrested for drunk driving in Ohio and have provided a blood, urine, or breath sample to the police, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, our skilled Steubenville OH OVI attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in OVI laws, defenses, and arrest procedures. We are dedicated to providing aggressive representation and have a proven track record of obtaining reduced or dismissed charges for our clients.
To schedule a complimentary initial consultation, contact Youngstown Criminal Law Group at (330) 992-3036. Our Steubenville OH criminal lawyers are available to assist you at any time, day or night.
For more information about field sobriety tests and how we can help with your case, please visit our website. Trust Youngstown Criminal Law Group to protect your rights and fight for your best interests.
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