Aggressive Defense Against DUI And Traffic Charges

What DUI sobriety tests do Hawaii police use?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | DUI |

In Hawaii and all other states, police who monitor traffic often pull people over for suspected intoxication. You can assume this is the reason an officer has stopped you if he or she asks you to step out of your vehicle. To arrest you for suspected DUI, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause. This means that there is evidence based on information or the circumstances known to the officer that you have been operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

To establish probable cause, Hawaii police may use several types of preliminary alcohol screening tests. This might include a roadside breath test or a field sobriety test. Regarding the latter, there are several kinds of sobriety tests that are common throughout the state.

Police use these 3 DUI sobriety tests most often

If you’re suspected of drunk driving, a police officer might ask you to take one or more of the tests shown in the following list:

  • Walk-and-turn test
  • One-leg stance test
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test

Each of the tests include a series of simple instructions. The officer administering the test will closely monitor your performance to check whether you have properly followed the instructions and are able to do so without impediment.

If you stumble, have slurred speech or fail an eye test, you might face arrest

During a field sobriety test, a patrol officer might ask you to recite the alphabet or count numbers aloud. If you stutter or can’t perform the task correctly, you might receive a failed test score, which is cause for a DUI arrest. For the eye test, the officer is checking to see if your eyeballs erratically shake back and forth while you’re trying to track an object.

Failing a sobriety test constitutes probable cause for a DUI arrest. You’ll want to note, however, that you are under no obligation to take a preliminary alcohol screening test during a traffic stop. You’ll also want to know that refusing to take a sobriety test doesn’t protect you from arrest. It might still happen.

What to do if you’re taken into custody in Hawaii

Whether you’re a full-time resident or a tourist, if Hawaii police arrest you for suspected DUI, you’ll want to take immediate steps to prepare a defense. There may be several strategies that are viable in your case. It’s best to seek experienced counsel before determining a course of action.