Different Types of DUI Field Sobriety Tests

Different Types of DUI Field Sobriety Tests

Officers have a list of field sobriety tests they can ask you to perform to determine whether you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While you can refuse to perform these tests, failure to consent might automatically lead the officer to arrest you and temporarily suspend your license. It’s important to know what to expect during a DUI stop. Learn more about the different types of DUI field sobriety tests you might need to perform with this rundown.

Nystagmus Test

Eye movement can suggest alcohol impairment. In a Nystagmus test, also known as a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the officer will ask you to track the movement of a finger or pen with your gaze. As you do so, the officer will study your eyes for any trembling or jerking. If your eye movements are too jerky, the officer will consider you too impaired to drive.

Standing on One Leg

Intoxication hinders your balance, so many different types of DUI field sobriety tests evaluate how well you can balance. In this test, the officer will ask you to stand on one foot, hold your hands at your side, and count to a certain number. The officer will look for mistakes, such as starting too early, losing count, or swaying too much. All of these could be signs of intoxication.

Walk and Turn

The walk-and-turn test also evaluates your balance and coordination. The officer will ask you to walk, heel to toe, for a certain number of steps. You will then have to turn around and walk the same number of heel-to-toe steps back. Meanwhile, the officer will observe this process to make sure you follow directions and keep your balance. Failure to do these things might indicate that you’re less than sober, which will cause the officer to suspect you’ve been drinking or using drugs.

Non-Standardized Tests

The above tests are standardized field sobriety tests, which means that the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration approves them as a reliable way to determine a person’s impairment or sobriety while on the road. That said, there are a few additional, non-standardized tests that officers often use. One of these is the finger to nose test, where you must stand straight, extend your arms, and touch your finger to your nose without missing or losing balance. You might also have to perform a Romberg test, which involves standing straight, closing your eyes, and tilting your head back for what you estimate to be thirty seconds. Poor balance or an incorrect perception of time will lead the officer to believe you’re not sober.

If you drink and drive, these field sobriety tests are just the first steps in a long list of legal and financial procedures you’ll need to deal with. If you find yourself facing a DUI conviction, the best thing to do is take care of yourself and work through your requirements responsibly. Visit our website to find the resources you need to fulfill the requirements for the SR22 in California and every other state with SR22 insurance regulations. Let Serenity Group help by providing the information, guidance, and SR22 insurance quotes you need to work through the process and get back behind the wheel.