What To Expect When You Are Pulled Over For Suspected DUI

Posted on: 28 October 2015

If you are driving and you notice blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror, you may have nothing to worry about. However, if you have been recently drinking, you may need a DUI attorney. Police officers who notice erratic driving may believe that you are inebriated. Here are a few things you can expect if you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence:

Field Testing

An officer who suspects you of driving under the influence will generally perform a test to determine whether or not you are drunk. The test may include standing on one leg, walking and then turning or gazing at a light.

The gazing test, which is formally called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test, is conducted when the officer shines a light into your eyes at less than a 45 degree angle. The test, which is considered scientifically accurate, indicates a high blood alcohol content by initiating an involuntary eye twitch when you look sideways at an angle that is greater than 45 degrees. The angle ensures that you are using your peripheral vision.

Additional tests may include counting backwards or closing your eyes and estimating how much time has elapsed.  However, only the HGN test is considered scientifically supported. The test is admissible in court as an appropriate basis for a DUI arrest.

Alcohol Level Testing

If you fail the field sobriety test, the police officer may ask to test your blood alcohol level. The officer will generally use a device that is about the size of a cell phone to screen your blood alcohol content electronically. If you blow into the device, the police officer may use the results to decide to arrest you. Nevertheless, the test is voluntary.


If you are arrested, you will typically be read an implied consent warning instead of Miranda rights. In addition, you will likely be handcuffed and placed in the back of the police car for transport to the station. Once you are at the station, another alcohol content test will be administered with your consent. If the test results confirm the officer's suspicion that you were driving under the influence, your personal information will be entered into the system, and identifying photos or mug shots will be taken.

In some instances, you may benefit from refusing the test. This can be important, especially if you are under the legal drinking age or were operating a commercial vehicle. In addition, the test may be best avoided if the driver has been arrested within the last few years for DUI.

Depending on the seriousness of a DUI offense, the case can be prosecuted criminally or handled civilly. A criminal case will involve the issuance of a traffic citation, and an arraignment will be conducted. With a civil case, your driving license may be revoked, and an administrative license suspension hearing may be conducted. If you have been charged with DUI, you will need legal representation like http://www.hartlawofficespc.net.