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Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Vermont

Under the VT constitution a police officer is permitted to conduct a field sobriety test if he or she has a reasonable belief that the vehicle operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If such reasonable belief exists the officer is permitted to conduct a field sobriety test in order to further investigate in the condition of the driver. The officer, however, must be able to point to specific facts indicating that a suspect is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A common field sobriety tests entails the walk and turn test, the one-leg stand test, the horizontal gaze test and the forwards and backwards alphabet test. All of the previously mentioned sobriety tests are admissible in further investigating the present condition of the driver so long as the officer had reasonable belief that the driver is driving under the influence.

A person may challenge the validity of a field sobriety test if the test was arbitrary in that officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was operating the vehicle while intoxicated. Also, the motorist may challenge the validity of the test of it is not one of the test types previously mentioned as included in a standard field sobriety test.


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