What does a field sobriety test consist of?

What does a field sobriety test consist of?

Most Baltimore drivers know that if they are pulled over for a suspected drunk driving violation, they could be subjected to a field sobriety test. However, most people have never had to complete a field sobriety test and they don’t know what such a test entails. Knowing what is involved can help you if you are ever subjected to one because you will be calmer and less stressed.

Most drivers will be tested with the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which is sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The SFST has various segments, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk-and-Turn and the One-Leg Stand.

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test looks for an involuntary movement of the eyes that happens with intoxicated persons. When a driver is intoxicated with alcohol, there is an exaggerated jerking movement in the eyes. This test asks drivers to look from side to side so police can judge whether the jerking is exaggerated.

The Walk-and-Turn test is supposed to be easily performed by sober individuals, but for intoxicated individuals, it becomes very different. Suspects are asked to take nine heel-to-toe steps down a straight line. Then they are asked to turn around on one foot and return in the same way going the opposite direction.

The One-Leg Stand test is just like it sounds. You have to hold a foot approximately six inches above the ground and maintain the position for 30 seconds. If the suspect loses balance, needs to use his or her arms or hops around to keep from falling down, it could be a sign of impairment.

Just because a Baltimore driver fails his or her field sobriety test does not necessarily mean that the driver is impaired. Indeed, drivers still may be able to employ a successful DUI defense even after failing a field sobriety test.

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