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What you should know about field sobriety tests

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Drunk Driving

If you’re pulled over by the police, then they may suspect you of drunk driving. An officer may have reasonable suspicion of you drunk driving if they believe you violated traffic laws, such as making an illegal turn or swerving between lanes. The police may ask you to do a field sobriety test during this traffic stop.

A field sobriety test is a kind of physical evaluation that the police use to judge your sobriety levels. Field sobriety tests often involve repetitive tasks that may indicate whether someone is drunk or sober.

Here’s what you should understand if you’re asked to take a field sobriety test:

4 kinds of field sobriety tests

There are four kinds of field sobriety tests. Three of the standard field sobriety tests are permitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These tests include:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test
  • Walk-and-turn test
  • One-legged stand test

You could also be asked to do a non-standard field sobriety test. This kind of test could involve you listing the alphabet backward while touching your nose or saying multiples of four while walking in a circle. These kinds of tests aren’t sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Your rights when asked to take a field sobriety test

If you are asked to do a field sobriety test, then you should be aware of your rights. Under implied consent laws, you must comply with a chemical sobriety test or you could face criminal penalties. However, field sobriety tests aren’t evaluated by chemicals. As such, you can refuse a field sobriety test without fear of incurring any penalties.

If you do end up facing a drunk driving charge, it’s always wisest to get experienced legal guidance to explore your defense options.