Two people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence at an Orange County DUI checkpoint over the weekend. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the DUI checkpoint occurred at Campus Drive and Bridge Road in Irvine. In addition to the two DUI arrests, 10 citations were issued at the checkpoint. Officials stopped 545 vehicles at the checkpoint and required nine drivers to perform sobriety tests. It is unclear if breath tests were given to the two drivers that were arrested or if they were arrested solely on the assumed results from a field sobriety test.
The three standard field sobriety tests include: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test forces the suspect to follow an object moving side to side. If the pupil jerks, it may be a sign of intoxication. The walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand are both divided attention tests. During the walk and turn the suspect will have to take nine steps heel to toe away and back again while counting the number of steps out loud. The one leg stand requires the suspect to stand on one foot while counting.
The problem with field sobriety tests is that their accuracy depends upon the skill of the test administrator, the conditions of where the test is administered and the health of the suspect. There are many variables that could lead an officer to incorrectly assume that the suspect was intoxicated.
The Orange County drunk driving defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan protect the rights of Orange County drivers. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, please call our offices at 866-430-8383 right away for a free consultation.