Field Sobriety Tests

San Diego, CA DUI Defense Attorneys – DUI Crew

San Diego DUI Defense Attorney

What are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests or (FST) are tests that law enforcement uses to determine if a person is currently impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. If a person is suspected to have been driving under the influence, a police officer may request that the individual perform a series of field sobriety tests before making a DUI arrest.

Inaccuracies of Field Sobriety Tests

Most people believe that a field sobriety tests can determine if an individual is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. However, this is not necessarily always true. In several instances, people have performed poorly during field sobriety tests (FST) for reasons other than being intoxiced. A person can perform poorly or fail the field sobriety tests for several reasons, including: poor lighting, slippery road conditions, poor instructions, and medical conditions that may impair the coordination of the person.

If you have been charged with a San Diego DUI due to the results of a field sobriety test, it is very important that you contact a San Diego DUI lawyer immediately. A lawyer will be able to challenge the validity of these tests, and may be able to successfully have your charges reduced or dismissed completely.

The field sobriety test is made up of several different tests, with some of these tests are different in various states. The three tests that are standard to a field sobriety test in every state include:

  • The walk-and-turn: This test has the person walk nine steps in a “heel-to-toe” fashion, turn around, and then walk back the same way they came. It is intended to determine if the person’s balance has been affected by drugs or alcohol.
  • The one-legged stand: This test involves the individual in question standing on one leg for a extended period of time. Like the walk-and-turn, it’s used to determine the individual’s balance.
  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This test has the person following an object (usually a pen) with their eyes. It is used to see if the person can follow the object smoothly, or if their eyes are jerking due to being under the influence.

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