If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), the officer may ask you to take the field sobriety test.
What exactly is this and can you avoid taking it?
About the test
Officially, this is the Standardized Field Sobriety Test battery. There are three different tests:
- The One-Leg Stand, a test of your ability to balance on one leg
- The Walk and Turn, a test about walking a straight line
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), in which you follow an object from side to side with your eyes
The first issue is that these tests are subjective. Your “score” depends on the opinion of the officer. In addition, there are various reasons for failing one or more of the tests. For example, you may have a neurological condition that would cause you to fail the HGN test. You could have a back, hip or leg problem that would make the Walk and Turn test impossible to pass. In fact, an officer should not ask you to take this test or the One-Leg Stand if you are over the age of 65.
Law enforcement administers the field sobriety test to drivers before an arrest. More than one-third of those who take the test fail. Many times, this is because of physical or mental issues. It is best to avoid taking this battery of tests and to seek legal guidance. You do not want a DUI mark on your record. Indeed, if arrested on suspicion of DUI, you want an advocate by your side and the best outcome possible for your case.