What are Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and why you should refuse them

Field sobriety tests are tests that are used by law enforcement to determine whether someone is impaired to drive a motor vehicle.  These tests measure balance, coordination, and your ability to follow directions.  They are also used to measure what is called “divided attention”; which is a person’s ability to do multiple tasks at one time.  While some people may argue these tests are good indicators of impairment, others can easily argue that the tests are created for someone to fail.  The slightest mistakes on these tests are recorded by officers and later used against a person in a DUI prosecution.

It is common for people to take these tests with the belief that they will do well and an officer will let them go.  The truth is if you have been drinking and your stopped your likely going to be arrested.  That being the case you should do everything in your power to protect your rights.  This means you should refuse all field sobriety tests.  By doing this you are acting within your rights and you are creating less evidence for the State to use against you in a future DUI prosecution.


  • Touch your nose – REFUSE
  • Walk the line – REFUSE
  • Counting- REFUSE
  • Saying ABCs – REFUSE
  • Portable Breath Test at the scene of the stop – REFUSE
  • Eye Tests (HGN) or request to see your eyes – REFUSE
  • Drug Recognition tests – REFUSE
  • Requests to look in your mouth – REFUSE
  • Lift your leg – REFUSE
  • Answering questions about drinking  – REFUSE

Note: If you are stopped and an officer begins a DUI investigation you can ask to talk to a lawyer before conduction any interviews or doing any field sobriety tests.  Also, if you have already been arrested for a DUI and you did Field Sobriety Tests, Don’t worry they can still be challenged.  As you can see in the video the officer here is told by the driver that he has back and eye problems but the officer conducts the tests anyway.

By Michael Munoz

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