More and more evidence comes up concerning the importance of sleep and how sleep deprivation can impact driving a vehicle. Based on several studies taken from well-known publications, sleep deprivation is known to have the same dangerous effect as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to a 2000 study published in the British Scientific Journal, researchers found that people who drove after being awake for nearly 20 hours performed worse than drivers who had been drinking.
It has been found that drivers getting less than 6 hours of sleep nightly can have affected coordination, reaction time and judgment. So when a Forsyth County law enforcement officer pulls a driver over and observes red eyes and slurred speech, they might suspect the driver is drunk when in fact, the driver is just sleep deprived. Then the Forsyth Co. police officer may ask the driver to submit to field sobriety testing. These are tests of attention and coordination. Sleep deprivation can make the driver fail these field sobriety tests in the eyes of the administering officer. Especially if the driver refuses the breath or blood test, the DUI prosecution will be based on the drivers performance on the field tests as well as the officers observations of the driver. With the aggressive tendency in which prosecutors seek DUI convictions, a Forsyth County prosecuting attorney may view this is as a clear cut case of drunk driving, when it is a mere matter of being tired.
If you are facing a Forsyth County DUI, call DUI attorney Richard Lawson today for a free case consultation.