What is the Standard Field Sobriety Test?
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What is the Standard Field Sobriety Test?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2024 | DUI Charges |

If a driver is suspected by police of driving under the influence, Maryland police officers have a few different ways to tell if the driver is impaired. Most of the time, the officer will ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and take field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are assessments conducted by officers to gauge a person’s sobriety. The Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST), is made up of three different tests that evaluate an individual’s ability to execute tasks correctly.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is the involuntary jerking of a person’s eye when it goes to the side. Alcohol use will exacerbate the jerking movements. To administer the test, an officer will ask the driver to follow a moving object with their eyes. The officer will look for involuntary jerking of the driver’s eyes.

Walk and turn

The walk-and-turn test is used to gauge balance. The officer will ask the driver to take at least nine steps heel-to-toe in a straight line, then turn on one foot before repeating the process in the opposite direction. The driver may also be asked to count aloud with each step.

One Leg Stand

The one-leg stand tests a person’s balance. With the one-leg test, the officer will ask the driver to stand on one leg while they lift the other leg about six inches off the ground for about thirty seconds. The driver will then be asked to count out loud during this process.

Help for those charged

If a driver performs poorly on field sobriety tests they may be charged with driving under the influence. However, this does not mean they are guilty of anything. Those in Maryland who are charged with DUI have the right to meet with a legal representative who can help them defend against these charges. An experienced lawyer can examine an individual’s case and help them achieve the best possible outcome.