Questioning When Your Attention Is Divided

Monday, August 19th, 2013

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When an officer stops a person for suspicion of driving under the influence, he relies on more than field and chemical tests to determine whether the driver is drunk. Divided attention tests are commonly used to determine sobriety. A Sumner DUI lawyer can tell you what these and other sobriety tests might mean for your defense.Sumner DUI Lawyer

Interrogation Comes Before the Field Tests

Before administering sobriety field tests, officers who pull you over will usually ask you a lot of questions. This is done no matter what type of sobriety test is used. What defendants don’t often know is that the questions themselves are a type of test. They mistakenly believe that their answers are what are important, when in fact it is the manner in which they answer that concerns the officer. This lets the officer get a chance to notice signs they interpret as consistent with intoxication, like the smell of alcohol or incoherent speech.

How Police Justify Divided Attention Tests

Sumner DUI lawyers know that police officers also ask questions before they even begin testing for sobriety for another reason. They do this in order to determine your divided attention capabilities.

Divided attention is how the brain is able to do two things at once – something that is harder after you’ve consumed a large quantity of alcohol. Police officers justify their need to perform divided attention tests on the grounds that you’d need the same mental and physical capabilities to perform the tests as you would to drive.

But Sumner DUI attorneys know that this is not always as “cut and dried” as it seems. It’s entirely possible to fail a divided attention test (such as the walk-and-turn test, one-legged-stand test, or finger count test) while still sober. This can happen because you are sick, nervous, or have a disability. If you need help with defense for such a case, your best bet is to talk to an experienced Sumner DUI attorney.

Need Answers About Field Sobriety Tests From a Sumner DUI Lawyer

If you need answers from a Sumner DUI attorney, call Greene & Lloyd PLLC at (253) 770-0808. They can tell you about field sobriety tests, possible defense options, and more. Call today.


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