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Exploring The Most Common Types of Field Sobriety Tests (Part 2)

5/10/2018

lawyers for criminal cases

In the last post, we discussed some of the most common types of field sobriety tests law enforcement officers administer to those they pull over for suspected DUI law violations. However, you can never be sure which tests an officer is going to use, which is why it's always best to be prepared and have a basic understanding of the most common types. Here's part two of our guide that will explore some more of the most common variations of field sobriety tests.

One Leg Balance

This task is typically requested to be performed in tandem with a different task. But it also involves checking balance by standing on one leg. Overall, this test is designed to evaluate balance and cognitive skills together.

"The officer may ask you to stand on one foot, place your hands by your side, and count by thousands (one one thousand, two one thousand….). The officer will look for swaying or loss of balance, not following directions properly, or losing count, all signs of intoxication," writes The News Wheel.

Turn and Walk

This test is another that's intended to evaluate both physical and mental ability. The officer will direct you to walk a certain number of steps and turn in a specific direction or walk the same number of steps backward. They'll also ask you to maintain heel-to-toe steps, which can trip people up who've had too much to drink. If you lose count of your steps, walk with wobbly steps, or exhibit other behavior that could be considered questionable, you may fail this test.

Rhomberg Balance Test

Finally, this test is designed to evaluate physical and mental stability as well. The officer will ask you to stand up straight and tilt your head back while estimating the time it takes for a certain number of seconds to pass. Those who are impaired will often overestimate the time due to their slowed perception.

Again, these tests are completely voluntary, and if you choose not to participate, you'll likely be given a breathalyzer test or arrested and taken into custody. If you do get arrested for DUI, remember that the Sixth Amendment provides criminal defendants with the right to legal representation through a public defendant or lawyers for criminal cases, as well as the right to a speedy trial, and the right to confront witnesses. For more information about DUI lawyers for criminal cases, contact Rhett Bernstein.