Field Sobriety Tests

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When a police officer assumes a driver is intoxicated, field sobriety tests can be conducted in order to determine probable cause for arrest. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created three tests that can be used on site. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) is based on the involuntary jerking of the eye due to alcohol impairment.

During this test, the officer observes the eye as the suspect follows a slowly moving object horizontally. If the eye jerks and cannot follow the object smoothly, it means nystagmus is present and the suspect likely has a BAC of 0.08 or greater. However, many other conditions may cause nystagmus that dont involve alcohol such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain tumors, visual loss, and sedatives. To assure accuracy, police officers can conduct two other tests to determine sobriety level. If you were arrested for a DUI contact a DUI defense attorney Sacramento at the Law Office of Wing & Parisi today.

The two other tests police officers can conduct are the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test. Suspects are required to listen and follow instructions while doing simple physical movements. Those impaired have difficulty performing the tasks.

The walk-and-turn test requires the suspect to take nine steps along a straight line. He must then turn on one foot and return in the same manner. The police officer looks for any of the eight indicators to prove of alcohol impairment: the suspect looses balance while listening to the instructions, the suspect begins before instructions are finished, the suspect does not walk heel-to-toe, the suspect does not walk in a straight line, the suspect stops while walking, uses arms to balance, the suspect does not take the correct number of steps, or he makes an improper turn.

The one-leg stand requires the suspect to stand with one foot six inches off the ground and count aloud until told to stop. There are four indicators in this test that officers look out for: the suspect sways while balancing, uses his arms to balance, hopping to maintain balance, or puts his foot down. Usually two indicators in any of these tests denote a BAC of 0.08. If you were arrested for a DUI contact a DUI defense attorney Sacramento at the Law Office of Wing & Parisi today.

Call DUI Defense Attorney in Sacramento at Law Office of Wing & Parisi at (916) 441-4888.

Getting arrested for a DUI can alter your life in many different ways. From the long term consequences to the immediate aftermath, the best thing you can do is contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Sacramento for legal advice. The Law Offices of Wing & Parisi has the tools, resources and experiences to ensure you get your life on track after a DUI arrest.

Contact us online or call at (916) 441-4888 for a free and confidential initial consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer and San Joaquin counties.


If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Wing & Parisi for free consultation.