If you’ve been pulled over and the officer suspects you are under the influence, odds are you’ll be asked to complete a field sobriety test to determine if you are physically impaired. The first three steps we list below comprise the standardized field sobriety test, but there are a variety of common tests. Below, we take a look at five common DUI roadside tests.
1. The Walk and Turn – This test is pretty standard. With your arms at your sides, an officer will ask you to take a certain number of steps on an imaginary straight line, walking in a heel-to-toe fashion. Once you take the desired number of steps, you will be asked to turn around and walk back to the starting point, again in heel-to-toe manner. To pass this test, focus on your heel to toe stepping, count your steps out loud per the officer’s instructions, and keep your arms down.
2. One Legged Stand – This is another fairly common field sobriety test. In this test, you’ll be asked to stand up straight with your arms at your side and your feet close together, side-by-side. The officer will then instruction you to raise one of your feet in front of you, approximately six inches off the ground. While holding that position, you will be asked to count upwards to either a preset number or until the officer tells you to stop. To pass this test, concentrate on keeping your balance, and continue to count until directed to stop.
3. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test – The HGN test involves having you follow a point of focus with your eyes. This will test your ability to follow commands, and the officer will look to see if your eyes jerk or twitch as they move. A jerking motion indicates a disturbance in the vestibular system or the oculomotor control of the eye. There’s no way to stop your eye from jerking or twitching, but do your best to concentrate on the point of focus and follow the officer’s instructions.
4. The Alphabet Test – This one isn’t as popular anymore, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be asked to do it. In this test, you’ll be asked to recite – not sing – the alphabet. The catch here is that you’ll have to do it backwards, starting from Z. That’s not easy to do, but take you time, focus on the letters, and realize that it’s better to take a little extra time thinking of the correct letter than to try to do it quickly and incorrectly.
Or do it like this guy.
5. The Hand To Nose Test – In this test, you’ll be asked to stand with your legs together, arms out to the side, and head tilted slightly backwards. You will then be asked to extend the pointer finger on one of your arms and, by only bending your elbow, touching your finger to your nose. Once complete, you’ll be asked to preform the same maneuver with the other arm. Repeat the test as desired. There’s no real trick to passing this test. If you can’t find your nose with your finger, you’re probably drunk.
So if you’ve been pulled over for a DUI in Anoka County or another Minneapolis suburb, give our attorneys a call today. We know how to challenge the field sobriety test and help you beat a DUI charge.