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Field Sobriety Tests: 

Standardized and Non-Standardized

If a driver is pulled over on a routine drunk driving stop and the police officer suspects intoxication, field sobriety tests may be conducted. The driver must perform simple physical or cognitive tests to determine sobriety. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines were set up to help make these tests more accurate. They are now called ‘standardized field sobriety tests.’ You can learn extensive knowledge about this specific test by contacting an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer.

Field Sobriety TestingThe tests are:

 the one-leg stand

 walk and turn, and

 horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

Officers may, however, also administer non-standardized tests, which might include:

stand with feet together and tip the head backwards

count the number of fingers that the officer raises

recite the alphabet or a portion of it

count backwards


Rhomberg stationary balance test: the driver stands, feet together, and leans the head back to look up at the sky while holding their arms out to the side

finger-to-nose: this requires the driver might to close his or her eyes and bring the finger around to touch the nose

hand-pat test: the driver is asked to extend a hand in front, palm upwards. The other hand is then placed on top of the first hand, palm downwards. The driver then ‘pats’ the lower hand with the upper hand by rotating it, so that first the lower hand is patted with the palm of the upper hand and then with the back of the upper hand.

In most states if a driver is suspected of DUI driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, some form of chemical test, such as breath, blood, or urine testing is required. While these tests are technically voluntary, refusal carries a possible penalty such as suspension of driving privileges. A Breathalyzer unit may be used, which is a small hand-held device that measures the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). This may be done roadside, at the detainment center, or at a hospital. Blood or urine tests can also be done at a hospital.

Charged with a DUI?

The Fox Legal Group can work with you to lessen a DUI sentence, if not have it completely dropped. This is one circumstance where you want a lawyer who specializes in the field. A “general” lawyer used by the family is not the best choice when defending a serious DUI charge. 

Contact us now for a free consultation.





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