These tests are optional. A field sobriety test is a tool law enforcement officers may use to try to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. Following the officer’s instructions simply allows the officer to observe your eyes. The precedent needs to be challenged. Prior to field testing, a law official should ask if you have a condition that may affect your ability to perform well on the tests. A Field Sobriety Test is a test performed by a police officer for someone being evaluated for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). 2. FSTs, as we call them, are nationally recognized drills taught to all law enforcement officers capable of arresting someone for a DUI. There are certain preliminary things a law enforcement official must do before giving a field sobriety test. There are three standardized field sobriety tests, each of which can pose challenges to sober drivers: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: For the first test, the officer will likely ask you to look at and follow the movement of a pen or finger. Your attorney will also check to see if you have any medical conditions that could have produced similar results on these tests to responses seen in intoxicated individuals. A police officer has broad discretion when administering a field sobriety test. In addition, the design of the tests is to make someone fail in order to create potential evidence against you. These tests were developed as a result of research sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and conducted by the Southern California Research Institute. The determination of probable cause to arrest is not always as clear and straightforward as it may seem. These vary from state to state somewhat, but overall, the vast majority of the country uses 3 different drills. Field Sobriety Tests are generally used to determine if a person has been driving while intoxicated, and whether or not there is probable cause to arrest the driver for DWI. The driver might have the symptoms of drinking, such as an odor of alcohol and bloodshot watery eyes and they may even have alcohol in a blood or urine test BUT since the police didn’t perform a field sobriety test, there could be a weaker case against this driver. Drunk driving laws and punishments may vary from state to state, but law enforcement officers all over the country use the same field sobriety tests, or FSTs, to identify suspected drunk drivers every day. Additional field sobriety tests you can be asked to perform when pulled over on suspicion of DWI are the breath and blood test. It is usually the first test given and many people believe they pass the test because they followed the officer’s instructions. There are pros and cons to doing so. Although a few Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests may be used, the Walk-and-Turn test, the One-Leg Stand test, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test are the three most accurate tests for detection of intoxication. The horizontal gaze nystagmus (“HGN”) test is the first standardized field sobriety test (“SFST”) administered by the officer when investigating a possible DWI. These tests, which are used in Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) stops throughout the country, are known as Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). Do not move … Field Sobriety Test Refusal. However, Virginia law enforcement officers use a variety of other field sobriety tests when they are investigating DUIs. Keep in mind there are national protocols in place as to the scientific evidence for breath and blood tests; however, the police have much lower standards than the national ones. In this SFST, the officer moves a pen or his finger, referred to as a stimulus, back and forth in front of your face while you stand straight and keep your head still. A nystagmus test is designed to look for involuntary eye movement which occurs when an individual is under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Field Sobriety Tests: Standard and Non-Standardized. The third test typically given during a standard field sobriety test is a horizontal gaze nystagmus test. (Are you wearing contact lenses?) The fact is that many of us do not perform well on field sobriety tests even when completely sober. HGN is the most reliable field sobriety test according to the NHTSA manuals. This pre-arrest screening tests a subject's mental and physical impairment and information processing, mainly their attention span, ability to listen to directions, balance, and coordination. These tests are used by police as an investigative tool to determine whether a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The officer improperly administered the tests. Field Sobriety Tests are intended to help police officers make decisions about whether or not to arrest suspected impaired drivers. This needs to stop. The standardized field sobriety test was developed in the late 1970's by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in an effort to improve the fatality rate on highways due to drunk driving. The four "standardized" field sobriety tests used in Washington State and throughout the U.S. include the following: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test- Most often officers will precede the three standardized test listed above with a test known as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. A persons involuntary jerking of the eyes is more noticeable when they have an increased blood alcohol concentration. Most often these tests are carried out on the side of the road and the information that is gathered in these tests will form the most important part of the evidence used to prove a DUI. non-standardized field sobriety tests Although the officers involved in any drinking and driving investigation should have been trained to use the three SFST's, for reasons unknown, officers apply additional tests during the course of the investigation in order to bolster the allegations that the drunk driving suspect is intoxicated. 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