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Colorado trial attorneys

Police look to diversify sobriety test evaluations

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP August 3, 2020

DUIs are no longer just for drinking and driving. As Colorado and other states have legalized other mind-altering substances, some law enforcement officials have had to reevaluate how they conduct sobriety tests.

In a typical DUI police stop, the officer often looks at several factors to determine whether a person is driving while intoxicated. Some of those signs may include how the driver moves their eyes, whether they can walk in a straight line and how well they can balance themselves. A person’s performance during these examinations can often determine if they get arrested for drunk driving.

But not all substances have the same psychological effects as alcohol. In these instances, officers may use similar tests but evaluate the outcomes differently.

Indicators officers will look at for other substances

Depending on the substance a person is under the influence of, these may be some indicators law enforcement officials may look for:

  • If you have an elevated blood pulse.
  • If your pupils dilate under certain light levels.
  • If your eyes are bloodshot.
  • If your eyelids have tremors.
  • If you have tremors when you stand up.

Officers may also resort to urine or blood test depending on the narcotic you’re accused of using.

Alternative sobriety tests may still have flaws

It can be hard to determine whether these tests will be entirely accurate or not. While all humans have characteristics that make them unique, not every single person will react the same way to mind-altering substances. Sadly, this could lead to more drivers getting accused of a crime they may not have committed. Luckily, a strong legal defense team can help protect their clients from facing stringent penalties that come with a DUI.