Sam Ronson, Lindsay Lohan's ex-girlfriend, was arrested last weekend for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol. Ronson was on her way back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas, when she was stopped for speeding in Baker, California in her black Porsche. Ronson reportedly performed several field sobriety tests, which she failed. Ronson refused to submit to a preliminary breath test and was taken to the police station, where she was required to submit to a breathalyzer test. Ronson's breath test revealed that her blood alcohol content (or "BAC") was over the legal limit.
Field Sobriety Tests are tasks that a police officer may ask you to perform at the time of arrest in order to help him or her determine if you are impaired. The standardized field sobriety tests include the Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Standardized field sobriety tests are generally regarded as reliable if conducted appropriately. But, in many cases, even standardized field sobriety tests may not an accurate assessment of a person's impairment.
Field sobriety tests are complex physical tasks that many sober people cannot successfully perform successfully. In addition, the officer's evaluation of your performance on field sobriety tests can be very subjective. There are numerous factors that can affect a person's performance on the tests, other than actual impairment. Things as simple as inappropriate footwear, an uneven roadway, loose gravel under foot, improper lighting and/or certain medical conditions can significantly impair your performance on the Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand. The HGN test can be unreliable if the officer holds the focal object (such as a pen) the wrong distance from the person's face, if there is improper lighting, if the officer performs the test while the person is facing the flashing police lights, or if the person has certain naturally occurring eye conditions.
Many people do not know that they can choose not to submit to field sobriety tests. But, it is entirely legal to refuse to participate in the tests. However, it is important to know that under Nevada's Implied Consent Law, if you refuse to submit to field a preliminary breath test, the officer may elect to take your license, arrest you and/or take you to a place where you can be submitted to formal testing.
If you are arrested or charged with Driving under the Influence, it is important that you call a Las Vegas DUI Attorney right away. A Las Vegas DUI Lawyer can analyze the specific facts of your case, identify appropriate defenses and provide you with the most aggressive strategy possible to protect your legal rights.