Common Field Sobriety Tests & Other Tests
›››The following content is an excerpt from a live interview with Richard Jacobs founder of my DUI Attorney dot org. The interview has been transcribed and contains information for educational purposes only. Please call Michael Munoz to get legal advice for your particular situation
Interviewer: Let’s go over what are the common field sobriety tests.
Munoz: There are three standardized field sobriety tests that are done by almost every officer. These standardized field sobriety tests are ones that have been essentially considered valid from an organization called NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s a government organization that helps police try to find drunk drivers. These standard tests that they always do are HGN, also know as horizontal gaze nystagmus. This is an eye test. Usually, they show you a stimulus, they move their finger back and forth to see whether or not to see if your eyes twitch as they move back and forth.
The second field sobriety test that is most often done is called the walk and turn, where they monitor how many…they give you directions, they see how you follow directions, and they also see how your physical coordination is as you’re walking and then turning around. And the third most common is the one-leg stance, where they give you directions and have you stand on one foot and then usually count to 30. Those are the standardized field sobriety tests. There are other field sobriety tests that some police agencies use, but the ones that most courts accept are those three tests.
Interviewer: Just so potential clients reading this know, what are some of the other tests that you’ve seen and heard of?
Munoz: Sometimes, a police officer will ask you to…finger to nose. They’ll ask you to tilt your head back and touch your nose. Sometimes, officers will ask you to count to a certain number. I’ve also seen they request to you recite the alphabet backwards. Really, there are a lot of different tests that can be done, but the three standardized tests are the HGN, the walk and turn, and the one-leg stance.