Prosecutors and law enforcement have relied upon the results of scientific
DUI research to conclude that a divided-attention test is a reliable manner
in which to measure one's driving impairment. Human beings, as the
interpretation of the results suggest, are faced with many complex tasks
on a daily basis. Driving a motor vehicle is one such complex task. Simply
put, if you "fail" a divided-attention test, as measured by
the field officer, you therefore must not have had the ability to operate
a motor vehicle at the time you were pulled over. Several issues are relevant
in divided-attention tests, as an Orange County DUI defense lawyer can
explain. Among those are:
1. An interrogation precedes almost all divided-attention tests.
Once you are pulled over, the officer will speak with you. This conversation
is in reality the first "test" you are given. If the officer
observes glassy eyes, slurred speech or what is considered "objective
signs" of impairment, you may be then asked to perform a divided-attention test.
2. What is the basis for a divided-attention test?
Essentially, driving is considered a complex task, which requires one to
divide his or her attention between two or more tasks. The effect of alcohol,
or perhaps prescription medication or other drugs, may slow information
processing in the brain. Ultimately, the individual may only be able to
perform one task adequately, but not the other or others required to "pass"
the divided-attention test, again as measured by law enforcement.
3. What are the types of divided-attention tests?
There are a number of
field sobriety tests law enforcement may ask you to perform, but the two most common that require
two tasks are:
- The one-leg stand test, which requires standing on one foot while counting
aloud in time periods of one second; and
- The walk-and-turn test, which requires a difficult physical task and unclear
Other tactics employed by law enforcement include either asking two questions
at once (e.g. "Give me your drivers' license" and "Where
is your registration?") or trying to trick or confuse you in questioning.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can best explain these issues
in greater detail and deliver the most positive result in your case.
Contact The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs today.