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Police test the sobriety of drivers using a variety of methods

Residents of Clemson, South Carolina who are pulled over by police because of an alleged traffic violation may be asked to take a test to help police determine if their motor skills or sense of perception are too compromised to safely drive a vehicle. The results of these field sobriety tests often determine whether or not a motorist is charged with a DUI.

Field sobriety tests are simple physical tasks that are easy for most unimpaired drivers and challenging to inebriated ones. One of the most well-known field sobriety tests is the walk and turn test. This test requires the motorist to balance while placing one foot directly in front of the other, and then pivoting to repeat the same walk in the opposite direction. Another field sobriety test that requires balance is the one-leg stand test. This test requires the motorist to maintain their balance while standing on one foot and holding the other in the air. Field sobriety is also tested by requiring the motorist to follow an object with their eyes so authorities can watch their eye movements for signs of intoxication.

Motorists can refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. However, in the state of South Carolina, motorists who are arrested on suspicion of DUI are required to submit to tests that can definitively determine their blood alcohol levels or else have their driver's license suspended.

Motorists who have been charged with a DUI may have unique and extenuating circumstances that can be used as part of their defense in a court of law. Attorneys working with DUI defendants analyze all of the evidence against them and highlight anomalies in the evidence in order to present their clients' cases in the best possible light.

Source: Aiken Standard, "'Walk the line': How police determine if you're DUI", Teddy Kumala, January 06, 2014

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