When you see the red and blue lights behind you in San Jose, your thoughts start immediately racing. What did I do wrong? Was I speeding? Is my registration expired? These are all valid thoughts. However, what if you are being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence? Let’s take a look at the tests used in the field to determine sobriety.
The most common test is known as the walk and turn. This test requires the subject to walk nine steps heel-to-toe along a straight line. They must then turn, using only one of their feet, and then walk back to the officer using the same instructions. This is an easy test to pass for someone who is not impaired.
The one leg stand is another test used by officers. This requires the subject to stand using just one leg. They must raise a leg about six inches from the ground and then count to 30 seconds. If the subject can do this without falling over ,it’s likely they are not impaired.
The third field sobriety test used by officers is known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus. This term refers to how the eye jerks when it looks to the side. This jerking is usually exaggerated when the subject is impaired. The officer will ask the subject to follow a pen or a finger back and forth by moving only the eye and not the entire head.
Field sobriety tests are not 100 percent accurate, no matter how much the officer practices administering them. That’s why you should comply with their orders and then worry about having a strong DUI defense in court.