Types Of Standard Field Sobriety Tests

If you are charged with a DUI, the prosecution case's strength mainly lies with the results of field sobriety tests. Your DUI attorney will try to gather evidence to claim the invalidity of the test results. Here are some common types of field sobriety tests.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

This is when you involuntarily jerk your eyeballs. This gaze is achieved when your eyes are rotated in high peripheral angles. An intoxicated person has an exaggerated jerking of the eyes, which occurs at lower angles.

Using the HGN test, the officer will request the driver to follow a moving object like a flashlight from one side to the other. In this test, the officer is looking to determine whether the eye follows the object smoothly. The officer also checks to see whether the angle of jerking is within 45 degrees. Any two cues are sufficient for you to fail the HGN test.

According to NHTSA, this test is an accurate sign of high blood-alcohol content for 77% of those tested. Your DUI attorney can claim you have a health condition like an eye problem to contest the test's validity.

Walk and Turn Test

In this sobriety test, the officer asks you to take nine steps in a straight line. The officer must give you an actual line of guidance. After nine steps, you are required to turn and take the steps back to your initial starting point.

In this test, the officer is trying to identify intoxication cues such as lack of balance, stopping while walking to gain balance, using your arms to balance, or making an improper turn. Two cues are enough for you to fail this test. Your DUI lawyer can claim that the officer's instructions were not clear or that the officer did not draw or give you the actual line to walk on.

One-Leg Stand

Another standard field sobriety test is the one-leg stand, where the officer will instruct a suspect to stand on one foot for a few seconds. Using the arms to balance, swaying while balancing, or putting the foot down are indicators that you are drunk.

Like the other tests, the officer will be looking for at least two signs that indicate you are drunk. For this test, your DUI attorney can contest validity if you have problems with your feet. Other factors that may lead to poor performance in this test include the weather and surroundings, your clothing, and your weight.