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What are some field sobriety tests?

If you are pulled over under the assumption you are driving drunk, then you may be asked by Florida law enforcement to take the standardized field sobriety test. This is a test that includes three tasks you must complete. It helps the officer to determine if you are indeed intoxicated. 

According to AAA, the SFSTs were developed in the 1970s and are admissible in court as evidence of intoxication. One of the tests requires you to stand on one foot with the other off the ground. While in this position, you must count until you are told to stop, which is typically for 30 seconds. The officer will look for swaying or balance issues. This is called the one-leg stand test.

Another test is the walk-and-turn test. In this test, you must walk in a straight line heel to toe. You will be asked to take nine steps this way. Again, the officer is looking at your ability to balance. The final test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. You will be asked to look straight ahead while following an object with your eye. The officer is looking at your horizontal gaze nystagmus, which is an involuntary jerking of your eyes. In a sober person, this occurs when eyes are rotated to extreme angles, but in an intoxicated person, it occurs at lesser angles. 

These tests alone typically do not provide enough evidence of intoxication but can be enough for you to be arrested. You need to pass at least two tests for them it to be considered a pass. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


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