Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Posted By Bluestein, Johnson & Burke LLC || 4-Oct-2014

I often hear horror stories from clients about being pulled over by a law enforcement officer . . .

“Have you been drinking tonight?”

“No. Well I had one earlier but it’s been awhile”

“I need you to get out the car and take some tests for me to show your OK to drive”

The client proceeds to tell me how the officer, among other tests, asked them to recite the alphabet backwards. The comment is almost always followed by, “I can’t do that sober!”

Unfortunately for the client, this is not a good sign. In all my years as a police officer and as an attorney defending people accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), I have NEVER confirmed an offer requesting a suspect to recite the alphabet backwards. The urban legend eclipses reality!!!

The standard field sobriety tasks are:

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
  2. Nine Step Walk and Turn
  3. One Leg Stand

Officers may also request people recite the alphabet starting at a random letter and ending with a random letter, i.e. start at “D” and end at “P” or a finger dexterity test.

The aforementioned tests are the only tests I have seen done . . . they are very effective in making individuals look intoxicated.

Stay tuned to learn about the tests . . . AND HOW TO BEAT THEM!!!!

Categories: DUI

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