Brent M. Brumley | Attorney At Law
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What should you know about field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2023 | Drunk Driving |

It’s terrifying when Mississippi drivers get pulled over by police on suspicion of drunk driving. If the officer believes you are under the influence, they might ask you some questions and to take tests. Field sobriety tests are among those designed to check for evidence of drunk driving.

Understanding field sobriety tests

Field sobriety tests are divided into three categories, and police officers use them to measure whether a person is intoxicated. These tests are used to see how well a person can follow instructions, balance and perform multiple tasks at once. Although they are commonly used when police suspect people of drunk driving, they are not always accurate. Factors other than intoxication, such as certain medical conditions, can cause a person to fail field sobriety tests.

The different field sobriety tests

The walk-and-turn field sobriety test requires you to walk nine steps in a straight line while keeping your feet heel-to-toe. The police officer will instruct you to turn around and repeat the same actions while walking back. Meanwhile, they check for indications of intoxication such as swaying.

The one-leg stand test requires you to stand on one leg with the other raised six inches off the ground. The police officer asks you to count by the thousands aloud until instructing you to stop. The officer checks to see whether you lose your balance, place your foot on the ground or fumble while counting. If you do any of these things, they can deem you as being under the influence of alcohol.

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is performed when the officer asks you to follow an object such as a pen with your eyes. If they notice any eye-jerking or your gaze faltering from the object, they can claim you’re intoxicated and arrest you for drunk driving.

A drunk driving arrest can adversely impact your life. However, field sobriety tests aren’t always accurate; you can fight the results.