The first step in a DUI arrest is when an officer stops a driver at a DUI checkpoint or for probable cause. Some examples of probable cause include an officer observing someone driving erratically or a citizen calling in a tip that a driver appears intoxicated.

The officer will ask the driver for his or her license, insurance information and vehicle registration. If the officer suspects that the driver is intoxicated, the officer will ask the driver to take some field sobriety tests.

Field Sobriety Tests

Officers generally administer three so-called “standardized” field sobriety tests:

· One-leg stand: The officer asks the driver to stand on one leg while holding the other foot at least six inches off the ground, pointed straight out, keeping arms at the sides. The driver then has to count until the officers tell the driver to stop.

· Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: The officer holds an object in front of the driver and asks the driver to follow it with his or her eyes while the officer moves it across the driver’s field of vision. The officer is observing whether the driver’s eyes can track an object smoothly, or if they jerk or lag.

· Walk and turn: The officer has the driver take nine heel-to-toe steps forward while keeping the arms at the sides, turn, then take nine heel-to-toe steps back, counting the steps out loud while doing so.

If the officer has sufficient probable cause after the tests, the officer will place the driver under arrest and bring him or her to the station for chemical testing.

Chemical Testing

The police will administer a breath, blood or urine test to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration at the police station. If a driver refuses the test, he or she faces an automatic license suspension and is not eligible for a Restricted Driver’s License during the suspension period. If it is a repeat offense, the driver faces a three-year suspension period. If it is the driver’s first offense, he or she faces a one-year suspension period.

If a driver’s BAC is higher than 0.05 but less than 0.08, the driver will not automatically lose his or her license, but police will charge the driver with DUI.

If the driver’s BAC is 0.08 or higher, or if other drugs appear in the test, police will charge the driver with DUI and the driver will automatically lose his or her driver’s license.


The driver may have to post bond to get out of jail. The police may also impound the driver’s vehicle.

2018-06-07T16:06:26+00:00 0 Comments


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