The typical Fredericksburg DUI process depends on the alleged actions of the individual was pulled over. If it is the traffic infraction, then what will happen is the officer will get the license plate information, walk up to the car, go ahead and start issuing the ticket for the traffic infraction, or they will let that person go.
Usually, in the course of issuing a ticket, law enforcement officers may observe something that would cause them to ask more questions of the individual about whether or not they had been drinking or to ask them to step out of the car to complete field sobriety tests. If somebody is pulled over specifically for a DUI, it may be critical to speak with an established attorney about how to deal with charges following a stop for suspected drunk driving.
If someone is pulled over for a traffic ticket, the first step in the Fredericksburg DUI process will be the officer approaching the car to talk to the individual about the traffic ticket. The officer will write the ticket, maybe will observe some type of indicia that the individual is intoxicated at that point and might go ahead and follow up with various field sobriety tests or potentially arrest the individual right at that moment.
If an officer pulls someone over just for DUI, they might change up the order a little bit and order the individual out of the car to begin with or ask the individual to get out of the car and ask them to perform the field sobriety test right away.
Usually, no matter what an individual is doing, the last test that they will ask the individual to perform or they ask if the individual would like to perform is going to be the preliminary breath test. The reason that they do that is they try to gather as much evidence as they can before they administer the tests. Once the test hits 0.08 or above, then they should go ahead and arrest the individual for suspicion of DUI.
The kinds of tests that an officer might want to perform during the stop can really vary depending on which officer it is. Often, there are things like the alphabet test, counting test, the finger-nose touch test. None of these steps are standardized or have any scientific value that has been proven whatsoever. However, officers continue to persist to do them because they feel it is always an easy way to trick people up to give them potential probable cause for an arrest.
The Fredericksburg DUI process has been standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for testing. First, the officer may begin with the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), where the officer will essentially have the individual follow the officer’s pen with their eyes without moving their head. The officer will look for some type of sustained nystagmus or jumping of the eyeballs which, essentially, is supposed to indicate some type of intoxication above 0.08 when performed correctly.
However, it is rarely performed correctly, and can also be an indicator of 27 other indicators, such as other physical ailments or other medicines that the individual has been on. It is not indicative specifically of alcohol and, frankly, a lot of the judges will not allow the test results to come into evidence if they are objected to by a competent attorney.
The other two tests within the Fredericksburg DUI process are the one-legged stand and the walk-and-turn test. The one-legged stand involves a series of questions that the officer is going to ask the individual and then the officer will have them stand on one leg for a period of time while they are counting out loud and their arms are at their side and will look for specific indicators of whether or not the individual is performing that test correctly.
The walk-and-turn test, again, is going to be a test where the officer explains directions to the individual while the are standing in a certain position and demonstrates the tests for them, walking down in an imaginary or sometimes a real line and then turning back around in a pivot motion to walk back and to keep one foot in front of the other and maintain balance. And the officer is going to look for very specific clues during this test’s administration as well.