A field sobriety test is a test or series of tests that law enforcement officers use to conclude if a driver is impaired. Florida has three standardized field sobriety tests: the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the walk and turn, and the one-leg stand (OLS). If you are accused of a DUI in Florida, you need to know your rights and what field sobriety tests you may be asked to perform.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is one of the three standardized field sobriety tests. This test measures a driver’s ability to follow an object with their eyes. In this test, an officer will tell the driver to look at an object, such as a pen or finger, with their eyes. The officer will then look for three clues of impairment:
- Jagged motions;
- Nystagmus when looking to the far right or left; and,
- Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees.
Walk and Turn
The walk and turn test is another of the three standardized field sobriety tests. This test measures a driver’s ability to follow instructions and maintain balance. An officer will tell the driver to take a certain number of heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turn around, and then take the same amount of heel-to-toe steps back. The officer will look for four clues of impairment:
- Cannot keep balance during instructions;
- Starts too soon;
- Stops while walking; and,
- Misses heel-to-toe.
The one-leg stand test is the last standardized field sobriety test. This test measures a driver’s ability to balance and follow instructions. The officer will ask the driver to stand with one foot six inches off the ground and count out loud for a certain number of seconds. The officer will look for four clues of impairment:
- Sways while balancing;
- Uses arms to balance;
- Hops to maintain balance; and,
- Puts foot down.
Did You Take a Field Sobriety Test in Florida?
If you are arrested for DUI in Florida, you must know your rights and what field sobriety tests you may be asked to perform. If you have any questions about field sobriety tests or a DUI charge in general, contact the experienced DUI attorneys at Magilligan Law. Our team can help you understand the field sobriety tests and how they may be used against you in court. Contact us online or by phone to discuss your case. 954-866-8058.