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How officers in Tennessee test for intoxicated driving

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Drunk Driving

Imagine a police officer in Tennessee suspects you are driving while intoxicated. After you step out of your vehicle, the officer will likely instruct you to perform three roadside tests.

Knowing what to expect during these exams may help you perform them better.

Walk-and-turn test

This test involves taking nine steps in a straight line. Feet must touch at the end of each step. Once you reach the ninth step, turn around and make nine more steps in the opposite direction.

Your arrest is possible if you stumble or your heels and toes do not connect. Officers also look for miscounting and using arms for balance.

One-legged stand test

For this evaluation, you must stand on one leg. While in this position, count out loud until you reach a specified number.

Law enforcement will look for any swaying or loss of balance. Skipping numbers and both feet touching the ground are other indications of inebriation.

Horizontal-gaze test

When you are drunk, your eyes may jerk without your knowing. An officer will look for these automatic movements while you follow a pen or finger from one side to the other. Your head needs to remain still. The inability to stay rigid raises officer suspicion.

Alternative tests

There are other tests not approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You may have to count backward, speak the alphabet or touch your nose with your finger. The NHTSA also sets standards for alcohol measurement devices that all officers use.

Getting pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving is a tenuous situation. Follow the instructions and tests that a representative of the law asks you to perform.

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