Voluntary Means Voluntary
The roadside maneuvers are voluntary, therefore you do not need to try to perform them. People seldom, if ever, perform them to the satisfaction of the arresting officer and your attempts gives the officer probable cause to arrest you.
There are six roadside maneuvers:
- Nystagmus – do your eyes move smoothly or jerk? You have no control of this and Nystagmus may be cause by many reasons other than alcohol.
- Walking an invisible line while touching heel to toe. This maneuver involves more than 90 parts, but if you make 4 mistakes, you fail.
- Balancing your weight on one foot tests your strength, balance and agility and has nothing to do with your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
- Reciting a segment of the alphabet and counting backwards demonstrates your mental abilities and many officers don't bother with these tests.
- Portable/Preliminary breath test is administered on a non-certified unreliable device. The results are not evidence in court but the results may provide probable cause for your arrest.
- Rhomberg test requires you to estimate the passing of 30 seconds while your eyes are closed and your head is tilted back without swaying.
Usually there is no video of your performance of the maneuvers and the officer will testify under oath that you failed all or most of them which provided additional probable cause for your arrest. The issue is whether you were substantially incapable to exercise due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. What do these maneuvers really prove?
If this is your first DUI arrest, see my Five Immediate Steps to Take upon Receiving a DUI Ticket.
Call me immediately (970-871-7400) to discuss your questions, needs and how I can help you in this trying time.
"Over the last fourteen years, I have tried more jury trials than any practicing attorney in the 14th Judicial District (Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado including Steamboat Springs, Craig, and Hot Sulphur Springs) with consistent success."
-- Larry D. Combs