Up to 1,500 people die every year in car accidents where an alcohol-impaired driver is involved.
It makes sense, therefore, that police officers often focus on testing drivers' blood-alcohol levels to see if they're drunk behind the wheel. But alcohol isn't the only substance that can impair a person's driving. And more and more drivers are on the road who aren't drunk but are otherwise impaired.
That's why law enforcement has come up with new ways to test drivers who seem impaired. Your drunk driving lawyer in Barrie knows what you can expect. Here's what to know before you hit the road.
Field Sobriety Tests
The field sobriety test can help police officers identify impaired drivers, regardless of whether they're drunk, on drugs, or using medication.
A field sobriety test will push a driver through a series of physical tests to see if they have balance, astute reflexes, etc. For example, a cop might put a suspected DUI case through the walk and turn test, during which they must take nine steps, turn around on one foot and take nine steps back. If they don't take the right number of steps or fumble on the turn, they will fail the test.
Now, officers can use this exam to tell if a person is driving while impaired. And, if they have had alcohol, they would likely fail a breathalyzer exam afterward, giving credence to an arrest. But what happens if the person isn't impaired by alcohol?
In many cases, officers can tell that a person is using drugs, either illegal ones or prescribed medications. The field sobriety test gives them the chance to confirm their suspicions with a very accurate test.
Roadside Blood Tests
In Canada, the police have come up with a solution to this loophole. They rely on roadside blood tests to gather evidence against suspects to see if they are, indeed, impaired.
Imagine a scenario in which a cop spots a driver weaving through traffic and, when they get pulled over, their car smells of marijuana. A breathalyzer wouldn't reveal the drugs in their system.
But a vehicle equipped with blood-testing equipment could drive up to where the cop and driver have pulled over. In just a few minutes, they can draw and test blood to confirm a person is impaired behind the wheel.
This tool is important to police officers to confirm their suspicions and get more accurate readings of the number of drugs in their systems at the time of the arrest. If the driver surpasses Canada's legal limits, then they will face legal action.
I Need a Drunk Driving Lawyer in Barrie
Perhaps you have already found yourself in this position. You have failed a sobriety test on the road and, now, you need a drunk driving lawyer in Barrie. It's a great idea to seek legal counsel—a pro can help you sift through your options and decide the best way to handle your case.
If you need an advisor, consider representation from David Wilcox. Contact us today to tell us more about your case and learn how we can help you with a DUI charge or any other criminal charges you may face.