Sobriety Tests Used in Indiana
When you are pulled over for suspected driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Indiana requires all drivers to consent to chemical testing so that your blood alcohol content (BAC) can be determined. This is known as the “implied consent law”.
If you refuse to take a chemical test, and you are a first time offender, your license will be revoked at once for a minimum of 1 year, unless you win a hearing. Subsequent refusals will result in a revocation of 2 years. In addition to chemical testing, police officers will often make use of field sobriety tests as a way of establishing probable cause for a DUI arrest.
It’s important to note that, though your license will almost certainly be revoked if you refuse to submit to chemical testing, you are under no such legal obligation to submit to a sobriety test. However, most attorneys will not recommend that you refuse when an officer requests you to participate in one.
Below, we outlined both the chemical tests you can expect, as well as the potential field sobriety tests you may come across if pulled over for a suspected DUI, and how to contact dwi defense attorneys in Indiana.
One of the most accurate determinations of a person’s BAC is through a blood or urine screening. Blood testing is the preferred method, as urine tests can take up to 2 hours to show alcohol in your system.
These types of tests are used most often when a breathalyzer is not available, and is one of the kinds of testing that you are legally obligated to consent to if you hope to avoid a license revocation.
Breathalyzers In Indiana
A breathalyzer is another tool that law enforcement has at their disposal that allows them to determine your BAC based on a breath sample. Police officers will have you take a breathalyzer test when they suspect that you’ve been drinking and driving.
The rules for administering a breathalyzer test are complex in Indiana and even if you are found to have a BAC above the legal limits, you’ll be required to take a blood or urine test as well to confirm the results of the breathalyzer.
The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
A standardized field sobriety test (SFST) is used when the police officer wants to obtain probable cause to require you to submit to chemical testing, giving them probable cause to arrest you for a DUI. The SFST includes 3 types tests used by law enforcement in Indiana, and are discussed below.
Walk and Turn Test
In the walk and turn test, you’ll be required to take 9 steps forward with your heel touching your toe at each step. Then, you’ll need to turn around and take the 9 steps back the way you came. During this test, the police officer will be looking for signs of impairment such as a lack of balance, and if you took the required number of steps.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
Also referred to as an HGN test, police officers will have you follow an object from side to side so that they are able to gauge the movement of your eyes. If someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their eyes will exhibit an involuntary jerking or bouncing movement.
One Leg Stand Test
The one leg stand test requires the driver to stand with their arms at their sides and raise one leg about 6 inches off the ground while counting “one-one thousand, two-one thousand…” and looking at your raised foot. During this test, the police officer will be looking for signs of intoxication such as swaying or putting your raised foot back on the ground.
Speak With An Indiana DWI Defense Attorney
Each of these types of impairment testings can be fought in court so that you can avoid being convicted of a DWI. Reach out to a skilled Indiana DWI defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can begin building your defense.