roadside test

roadside test

n. a preliminary test law enforcement officers use on a suspected drunk driver at the spot the driver has been pulled over. Essentially it is a test of equilibrium (balance), reflexes, and mental acuity, consisting of standing on one foot and then the other, walking a straight line, touching one's nose with the forefinger of each hand, saying the alphabet backwards, or counting by twos. Some tests include writing. Although sometimes a judgment call by the officers, a suspect's failure of the test is often obvious and may be supplemented by reports of slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol and answers to simple questions such as "How much did you have to drink?," or "Do you know where you are?" If the officer decides the driver is drunk, he/she will inform the driver he/she is being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, read the Miranda rights, arrest the driver, and transport him/her to a nearby police facility, where the suspect is asked to submit to an alcohol blood test (breathalizer, blood or urine) which is more definitive than the subjective roadside test. If the driver refuses the blood alcohol test, the officer may testify in court on the roadside test results as proof of drunkenness if there is a trial of the accused. In cases in which the inability to drive effectively is due to use of narcotics or a combination of drugs and alcohol, the roadside test may provide crucial evidence of physical symptoms and mental confusion indicating inability to drive safely even though the alcohol level is below the legally drunk level. (See: driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, DUI, DWI, Miranda rights)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A 29-year-old man was stopped at the scene and provided a negative roadside test for drink and drugs.
He was stopped by cops and forced to take a roadside test on March 26 last year.
thomas also "suffered abrasions on his shoulder" but no significant injury after passing an initial concussion roadside test and returned to the team hotel following further scans and X-rays at a local hospital.
He recorded 44 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath on the roadside test, twice the legal limit.
Hope refused a roadside test and was arrested, also refusing a test at the station.
He added: "The roadside test for drugs has enabled members to tackle the serious issue of drug driving.
Mr Hutchinson said at first Twist (pictured left) had been co-operative with police who carried out the roadside test, telling them he'd been drinking with friends until the early hours.
"He subsequently failed a roadside test and was arrested."
But when the officers spoke with him they noticed that his breath smelt of alcohol and arrested him after he failed a roadside test.
A roadside test recorded him having 105mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath - reduced at the police station to 95mg - when the legal limit is 35mg.
A roadside test revealed Heather Meyrick had 146 microgrammes in 100 miilitres of breath - a sky-high reading described as "phenomenal" at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court.