Traffic Law DUI/DWI
Admissibility of Field Sobriety Tests in Drunk Driving Cases
There are three standardized field sobriety tests (FSTs) that make up the Standardized Field Sobriety Test battery. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test. The HGN test refers to an involuntary jerking as the eyes gaze toward the side. When intoxicated, a person’s smooth and accurate control of his or her eye movements will break down. The walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test are referred to as the divided attention tests, which simulate the mental and physical capabilities a driver needs to drive safely. Of the three FSTs, the HGN is considered the most reliable field sobriety test, especially when used in combination with the divided attention tests.
Criminal Offense of Failure to Report an Accident
Most jurisdictions require a motorist to prepare and forward an accident report to the state’s department of motor vehicles whenever the motorist is involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage or injury. But even before filing a report, the driver has an affirmative duty to stop, provide information, and give notice to the police. These statutes are commonly referred to as hit-and-run statutes. The information commonly required by the statutes includes the driver’s name and address, the registration number of the vehicle involved in the accident, and insurance information. In the event that no person is present or able to receive this information, the driver has an affirmative duty to report the accident to the police.
Use of Audio & Visual Evidence in Drunk Driving Cases
Audio and visual evidence is evidence that appeals to our auditory and visual senses. In other words, it is evidence that we can see or hear. Videotapes and photographs are examples of visual evidence. A voice recording is an example of audio evidence. Audio and visual evidence is often used in drunk driving cases.
Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions for DUI/DWI
When a defendant is convicted of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, the defendant is usually subject to a license revocation or suspension, fines, and possible jail time. In addition, many states provide for penalties that affect the defendant’s vehicle and license plates.
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