What are the most common field sobriety tests?

Most of our readers in Florida are likely to be familiar with one of the most common aspects of a drunk driving stop: field sobriety tests. But, what are the most common field sobriety tests that law enforcement officials put people through during a DUI stop?

There are three common field sobriety tests performed in Florida, as well as the rest of the country, when it comes to DUI stops. The first is known as the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test. Our readers will likely be more familiar with this test as the “follow the tip of my pen” test. In these tests, the police officer will move an object, usually a pen, back and forth in front of a person’s face and ask the person to follow the tip of the pen with their eyes only – not by moving their head. The police officer is looking for jerking movements in the person’s eye movements, which can be an indication of intoxication.

Next, there is the “walk and turn” test. In this test, the police officer asks the person to walk down a straight line without deviating, placing one foot in front of the other, and then turn and come back in the same direction. The police officer is looking for the person’s ability to pay attention to instructions and focus on the task at hand.

Lastly, there is the “one-leg stand” test. Quite simply, the person is asked to lift one leg off the ground and stand still for approximately 30 seconds. The inability to do so may be an indication of intoxication.