Field sobriety tests are a common tool used by police officers to gather evidence against a person they believe was driving under the influence. Based on the results of these tests, the officer makes a determination as to whether or not to arrest the driver for DUI. That being said, these tests are not always a great indication of a person’s intoxication. In this article, we are going to talk about the three most common field sobriety tests and what you need to know about each of them.
One Leg Stand
This is perhaps the simplest field sobriety test. The officer asks the driver to raise a foot about six inches from the ground and count out loud while keeping your hands by your sides. This test is meant to examine a person’s ability to balance – which can be impaired as a person becomes intoxicated. If you put your foot back down, flail your arms for balance, or sway your body, the officer may take that as an indication of intoxication.
Walk & Turn
The walk and turn is another simple test that tests for balance and the driver’s ability to do simple multitasking. The officer instructs the driver to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line for 10 paces. When the driver reaches 10 paces, they have to pivot, about face, and walk back. The officer may also instruct the driver to count their steps as they take them.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
This test involves the officer hovering a pen in front of the driver’s face and instructing them to follow the pen with their eyes as it moves from left to right. The trick is you are only allowed to move your eyes (not your entire head). This test is used to check for nystagmus – which is an involuntary jerking of the eyes that can increase with intoxication.
Field sobriety tests are very subjective and can incriminate a person who hasn’t had a drop to drink. If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, make sure you consult with an attorney. At Appelman Law we represent clients for a wide variety of civil and criminal matters. Whether you’re dealing with a DUI charge or an issue in small claims court – we’ve got you covered. We can walk you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are upheld at every moment. Contact the attorneys at Appelman Law today to schedule your free initial consultation. Our office is located in Naperville, IL but we represent clients throughout Chicago and surrounding metro area.