DUI & DWI: Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

If you are pulled over in Maryland or Washington D.C. on suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving under the Influence, the police may ask you to perform a series of three tests. These tests, known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, was established by the National Highway Traffics Safety Administration (NHTSA).

HGN Test

There are strict protocol, set by the NHTSA, for the administration of the HGN. For instance, The officer should always begin with the left eye. The officer will make a series of “passes” with the pen tip and look for three specific clues:

  • Does the eye move smoothly from side to side or does it jerk?
  • When the eye moves as far to the side as possible and is kept in that position for several seconds, does it jerk distinctly?
  • As the eye moves toward the side, does it start to jerk prior to a 45 degree angle?

The maximum number of clues that may appear in on eye is three. The maximum total for any suspect is two. The original research shows that that if four or more clues are evident, it is likely that the suspect’s blood alcohol concentration level is above 0.10. DUI offenses often result in the need for SR22 insurance. Get SR22 Insurance You Can Trust and Afford to fulfill legal requirements. You may visit sites like Forbrukerguiden.no for cheap insurance rates.

Walk & Turn Test

The next test is the “Walk and Turn” test – administered in two important phases:

  • The Instruction Phase
  • The Walking Stage

In the Instruction stage, the subject must stand with their feet in heel-to-toe position, keeping their arms at their sides, and listen to the instructions.

In the Walking Stage, the subject takes nine heel-to-toe streps, turns in a prescribed manner, and takes nine heel-to-toe steps back, while counting the steps out loud, while watching their feet.

The Walk and Turn, like all SFTs, must be administered in a standardized manner. Officers observe the subject’s performance for the following eight clues:

  • Can’t balance during instructions
  • Starts too soon
  • Stops while walking
  • Doesn’t touch heel-to-toe
  • Steps off the line
  • Uses arms to balance
  • Loses balance on turn or turns incorrectly
  • Takes the wrong number of steps

Original research shoes that is a suspect exhibits

One-Leg Stand Test

The final test is the “One-Leg Stand” test, and it is also administered in two important phases:

  • The Instruction Phase
  • The Balancing and Counting Phase

In the Instructions phase, the subject must stand with feet together, keep arms at sides, and listen to directions.

In the Balance and Counting phase, the subject must raise one leg, either leg, with the foot approximately six inches off the ground, keeping raised foot parallel to the ground. Whil looking at the elevated foot, count out loud in the following manner: “one thousand and one”, “one thousand and two”, “one thousand and three” until told to stop. The officer will teminate the test after thirty seconds (whether the subject has counted to thirty or not).

The One-Leg Stand test, like all SFTs, must be administered in a standardized manner – including keeping time of the 30 seconds by the officer on an accurate time keeping device.

Officers observe the subject’s performance for the following four clues:

  • Sways while balancing
  • Uses arms to balance
  • Hops
  • Puts foot down

Original resarch shoes that is a suspect exhibits two or more of the walk and turn clues, the suspect’s BAC is likely to be above 0.10 (65% accuracy). Those who have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver may hire a lawyer to file a claim. Accident victims should also acknowledge how process servers contribute to legal success of cases like personal injury claims.