Stop and read these facts about driving under the influence

In the U.S there are approximately

300,000

incidents of drinking and driving per day. That’s a pretty hefty number.

What’s your dui know-how?

DUI vs. DWI

In some cases, the two terms are used interchangeably. Depending on state laws, DWI might refer to driving while intoxicated with alcohol, while DUI is used when the driver is charged with being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Standardized* Field Sobriety Tests

*approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Stand on one leg

This test requires you to balance on one leg.

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Additional details

The one-legged stand test is another example of testing one’s ability to follow directions when attention is divided. The police officer will look for 4 main signs of impairment during this exercise. They are:

  • Swaying
  • Hopping in place
  • Using arms to balance
  • Placing foot on the ground (inability to balance)

83% accurate

Walk and turn

Stand and listen to instructions, then walk in a straight line, turn around, and walk back towards the officer.

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Additional details

It may seem simple, but the walk and turn test is actually testing your ability to multitask – a behavior that is compromised when someone drinks too much. The effect is underscored when the attention span is divided between mental and physical tests. There are eight signs of impairment associated with the walk and turn test. They are:

  • Can’t balance while listening to the instructions
  • Start walking before the instructions are finished
  • Using arms to balance
  • Turning improperly
  • Taking the wrong number of steps
  • Stop to regain balance halfway through
  • Fail to walk heel-to-toe
  • Stepping off the line

79% accurate

Nystagmus test

Checks the eyes for lateral or horizontal jerking when the eye gazes to the side.

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Additional details

Nystagmus is an involuntary shaking of the eyes that typically occurs at the extremes of your periphery. When a person is under the influence, however, the eyeballs can begin to shake at less steep angles. The point of this test is for the officer to look for jerkiness as your eyes track an object (usually a small flashlight). If shaky movements occur within 45 degrees of center, it suggests impairment.

88% accurate

Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Tip head

Stand with feet together and tip the head backwards.

FINGER COUNT

Count the number of fingers that the officer raises.

Alphabet

Recite the alphabet or a portion of it.

Backwards count

Recite numbers in backward order.

Rhomberg

Rhomberg stationary balance test The driver stands, feet together, and leans the head back to look up at the sky while holding their arms out to the side.

Finger-to-nose

This requires the driver close his or her eyes and bring the finger around to touch the nose.

Hand-pat test

The driver is asked to extend a hand in front, palm upwards. The other hand is then placed on top of the first hand, palm downwards. The driver then ‘pats’ the lower hand with the upper hand by rotating it, so that first the lower hand is patted with the palm of the upper hand and then with the back of the upper hand.

Chemical Tests

Breath

Breathalyzer tests are common. You can politely decline to take the roadside Breathalyzer, and instead get tested at the police station.

Blood

A blood sample is taken at the police station.

Urine

A urine sample is taken at the police station.

NOTE: Remember that when taking a field sobriety test, all actions are recorded by the officer and, in most cases, the dash camera on the police car. Stay calm, polite, and respectful throughout the ordeal to minimize repercussions.