What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

If you’ve been stopped by a police officer for a traffic offense you may be asked to take some field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are specifically designed to help officers make an initial determination as to whether a person may be intoxicated. In Florida, the legal limit is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. DUI tests such as breath, blood, and urine, provide a way to check for the amount of alcohol in the system. Field sobriety tests are often used as a factor before deciding to proceed with further DUI tests.

Kinds of Field Sobriety Tests

There are a number of tests that may be used to assist officers in determining DUI. Among the most common tests are:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) is a test that checks the reaction of the eyes to light. The officer will shine a small light into the eyes and move it back and forth. If the eyes move fast from side to side it may be an indication of alcohol impairment.

Walking on a Line – This simple walking test checks for balance and the ability to obey instructions. The officer will provide directions for walking that can be accomplished easily by someone without impairment.

Balancing on One Leg – Balance can be impacted by impairment. The officer may ask you to stand on one leg with one leg lifted out in front, holding the position for a number of seconds.

Alphabet Recital – The alphabet is often used as a measure of impairment. The officer will request you to recite the alphabet slowly without singing. Leaving out a letter could indicate possible impairment.

Defending DUI

If you have been arrested for DUI it is important to seek help from an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. A skilled DUI lawyer will review your case and determine the best way to proceed. In some instances the evidence against you may be weak or may be flawed. For example, sometimes a DUI test may have been administered improperly or the results may be incorrect. If found guilty of DUI the penalties can be severe so it is almost always in your best interest to fight the charges.