Field Sobriety Tests
Columbia DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are a series of tests employed by law enforcement
to determine the possible impairment of a driver and to establish the
grounds for probable cause for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest.
If you are arrested after the administration of these tests, be aware
that you have rights as the accused and that you need to speak with a
Columbia criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and safeguard
As a former prosecutor with over 20 years of legal experience, you can
trust that The Steele Law Firm, LLC is the best choice for fighting your
criminal charges. I am resilient in building defense strategies and challenging
the prosecution’s case against my clients. You could be facing serious
penalties if you are found guilty, so look to my firm to work for you.
What is involved in a Field Sobriety Test?
Common tests administered by law enforcement to those suspected of drunk
or impaired driving:
- One-leg stand
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN)
This test calls for the suspect to remain standing while holding one foot
roughly six inches from the ground and counting by given intervals until
instructed to put their foot back down. The officer will try and observe
any difficulties while trying to remain standing, such as swaying, hopping,
or using the arms to stay balanced. A suspect putting their foot down
before the officer gives their consent, or in violation of his instructions,
can be a basis for the officer to establish probable cause and arrest
you for drunk driving.
A walk-and-turn test asks for the suspect to walk several steps in a straight
line before turning and walking back. Officers look for difficulty keeping
balance, failure to touch heel to toe, or not following given instructions.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
An HGN test looks for an involuntary jerking or tracking of the eye as
the suspect is asked to track the movement of a pen or instrument with
their eyes as the officer holds the object in his hands. If the eyes have
difficulty following the moving object, or track or jerk irregularly,
the officer can take the results of this test ground to establish probably
cause for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest.
Even if an officer believes an FST “proves” you are under the
influence, as a highly-qualified Columbia criminal defense lawyer, I can
successfully challenge these tests to ensure that they were administered
properly by the arresting officer and complied with National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration standards and other training standards. Don’t
wait to call my firm and begin building your defense!
Call my firm to get started with your legal defense—(803) 402-8544!