What are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are often used by law enforcement to determine if a driver has been operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. However, these tests are typically subjective and unreliable. Even if you believe that you passed any one of these tests, the main purpose is for police officers to collect more evidence against you.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
There are three types of standard field sobriety tests: the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
The one-leg stand test is when you raise one foot six inches above the ground while counting out loud until the officer tells you to stop. While the driver is counting, his or her hands must stay on their sides and toes. Those with leg or back issues, as well as those performing on uneven surfaces, will have a hard time passing this test.
The walk-and-turn test consists of walking a straight line, taking nine heel-to-toe steps while counting out loud. The driver must then pivot on his or her front foot and walk back in the same fashion. Anyone with coordination difficulties or who has a leg or back injury will find this test challenging.
In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the driver’s head must stay still while law enforcement directs him or her to follow a light or pen. The officer will look for any signs of impairment. Those with eye issues can be wrongly accused of driving under the influence.