When an officer pulls you over for a suspected DWI, he will typically have you removed from your vehicle to perform field sobriety tests, FSTs. There are many different types of field sobriety tests that are given, but the most common are the following:
- The HGN test, that stands for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. That is when an officer takes a penlight or a pen and brings it six inches in front of your eyes and moves it from side to side to see whether or not there are certain movements in your eye which detect alcohol in your system.
- The walk and turn test. You will be asked to walk nine steps forward, heal-to-toe, make a turn, and come back nine steps the other way towards a police officer. You’re typically walking on an imaginary line, and the police officer is observing whether you are walking heal-to-toe, whether you’re walking straight, whether you use your arms for balance, and whether you fall or stumble during this test.
- The one-legged stand. You are asked to raise one of your legs six inches above the ground and hold it there for 30 seconds. Sometimes, you are required to count out-loud the 30 seconds. Other times, you are required to count silently to yourself. Again, in this instance, the officer is observing whether or not you’re leg is so many inches above the ground and whether you hold it up for 30 seconds.
- The finger-to-nose test. This requires the person who is being observed to take the tip of one of his fingers, extend his arms out, and touch the tip of his nose, and do it with both hands. Typically, you must do it three times with each hand. With your head remaining straight and your body not swaying or moving at all. The officer is observing you for whether you follow the directions properly and whether you were able to touch the tip of your nose with your finger.
- The Romberg test requires you to stand at attention with your feet together, tilt your head back, keep your arms at your side, and hold it there. The officer is looking to see whether or not you are swaying either side to side or back and forth. Another test given is the alphabet test. Surprisingly, most people who are intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs are not able to perform this test. It’s usually as simple as saying the ABCs from A to Z or sometimes starting at the third or fourth letter such as C or D and finishing at W, but again, the officer is observing you as to whether or not your are following directions and whether you can say your ABCs.
Have you been pulled over for suspected DWI and were arrested? Contact experienced Lancaster DWI Lawyer Arthur Pressman to be your ticket to justice.