One of the methods that Police Officers in forming their opinions as to whether or not a driver is drunk or intoxicated are Field Sobriety Tests. If you ever see someone standing by the side of the road touching their finger to their nose, they have been pulled over because the Police Officer believes that the person might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are a lot of ‘urban legends’ as to what Field Sobriety Tests consist of – such as saying the alphabet backwards! I have never heard of a person being asked to say the alphabet backwards (but I have heard people practicing it just in case they get pulled over.
Common Field Sobriety Tests:
- ALPHABET TEST – this consists of saying the alphabet slowly without skipping letters or slurring. It is said forward not backwards.
- 9 STEP HEEL TO TOE – this consists of walking nine steps in a straight line, touching your heel of one foot to the toe of your other foot, pivoting, and returning back nine steps heel to toe. You must stay in a straight line.
- FINGER TO NOSE – the officer asks you to tilt your head backwards and touch your finger to your nose.
- STANDING ON ONE FOOT – the officer asks you to stand on one foot and count while keeping your other foot in the air.
- HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS – This measures the degree of nystagmus (jerking of the eye) as you look from side to side. If you have nystagmus, you are impaired (either due to intoxication or other reason).
You have the right to refuse any and all field sobriety tests!
Have you been arrested for OUI? Have you taken Field Sobriety Tests? Call me at 866-981-7888 or email me to schedule a consultation.