Roberts Law Group, PLLC
North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
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We FIGHT for the Best Results

What should I expect during a field sobriety test?

Police conduct field sobriety tests as a part of their drunk driving investigations. Police usually will not conduct a field sobriety test until after they have established a suspicion of intoxicated driving. The field sobriety test offers police additional information pertaining to a driver's state of intoxication. Results from these tests can be especially valuable to police in cases of drugged driving where an alcohol Breathalyzer test will not reveal whether someone is intoxicated or not.

If you were pulled over by a police officer and he or she witnessed signs of inebriation, such as red eyes, slurred speech and/or the smell of alcohol, the officer could conduct the following types examinations during the field sobriety test:

  • Balancing on one foot: Intoxicated people have trouble with their balance. Police may ask you to stand on one foot for as long as you can.
  • Reciting the alphabet backward: It can be hard to recite the alphabet backward while sober. It's next to impossible to do this when someone is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
  • Gaze tests: Police may ask you to follow a light with your eyes without moving your head. Something happens to an intoxicated person's eye control and this test may reveal that someone was too drunk to drive.
  • Walking heel to toe: Having you walk along a straight line from heel to toe could be another indicator of inebriation.

Police must conduct field sobriety tests in accordance with the law. If an officer conducted your field sobriety test improperly, evidence gathered from the test might not be admissible in court to be used against you in your criminal proceedings.

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