Field Sobriety Test for DUI

If you are stopped for suspected drunk driving in San Diego, the officer on the scene may ask you to perform a series of tasks to determine your ability to operate a motor vehicle. In some jurisdictions, field sobriety tests are often filmed by a camera mounted in the patrol car and may be used against you in a court of law.

The field sobriety tests (walking a straight line, walking heel-to-toe, balance testing, eye test) are not legally required of you Under California law if you are pulled over, even if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving. If you are not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, it may be best to perform the sobriety tests. If you are drunk or drugged, it may be better to decline to perform them and ask for an attorney. If you refuse the field sobriety tests you will likely be arrested and transported to a facility to have your blood tested.

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Walk and Turn Test

This test involves walking a straight line heel to toe without stumbling. You may be asked to extend your arms, close your eyes and bend your head back and then touch your nose with your fingertip. You may also be asked to recite the alphabet.

Eye Test

The penlight eye test is a simple physical test to determine if you are impaired. The officer will shine a penlight into your eyes and ask you to track the movement of the light with your eyes without moving your head. If you are impaired, your eyes will have difficulty following the light smoothly. If the eyes begin to jerk before they reach an angle of 45 degrees, then it is likely that you are impaired, but it is not a certainty. The test is not considered proof of intoxication in many states and is often only used to indicate if the subject should be given a blood test. More than likely the test will be only one of several possible field sobriety tests you will be asked to perform.

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