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What Do Police Look for in a Sobriety Test?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

November 23, 2020

What are Field Sobriety Tests?

If you are suspected of driving under the influence, you will most likely be stopped by law enforcement officers and be asked to do a Field Sobriety Test (FST). The sobriety test determines whether one is driving while intoxicated. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed some tests that they validated as standard, although they are not 100% accurate and only give cues that might indicate impairment.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests.

The four standard tests include;

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: In the test, the officer uses a finger or pen and asks you to keep your head steady and follow the object using your eyes. Delayed or irregular eye movements and the inability to keep the head steady are cues of intoxication.

  • Walk and turn test: One is asked to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line to a certain point, then turn around, and walk back while remaining on the line. The officer checks for balance, coordination, ability to keep arms stable, and other intoxication cues.

  • One leg stand test: In this test, the officer asks you to raise one leg about 6 inches from the ground and raise both arms, then count until the officer asks you to stop. The officer is usually checking for cues such as swaying, slurred speech, poor coordination, and other signs.

  • Finger to nose test: The officer asks you to close your eyes, tilt your head backward, and touch the tip of your nose with a finger. You may be asked to repeat this test a few times. The officer is usually looking for lack of coordination, imbalance, irregular eye movements, and other cues that may show intoxication.

Consult with Our Attorneys.

If you have recently gotten a DUI charge, you should utilize the expertise and resources of our Miami defense attorneys to get information about your rights and the Florida statutes involving the offense.

Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is a top Florida law firm with highly informed and experienced lawyers. Our commitment is to ensure that our clients get the best representation. Call (305) 330-1360 for an immediate case evaluationnow!