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Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests (FST) are tests that are administered by law enforcement to determine a person's level of intoxication.  Field sobriety tests have been in existence since DUI laws were created.  In the past, there were many FSTs that law officers would ask suspected DUI offenders to perform.  However, some variations of the field sobriety tests were not as accurate as others.  In the late 1970s, the National Highway and Traffic and Safety Administration's statistics confirmed that three of the field sobriety tests were far more accurate than others.  Since then, these three tests have become standardized, and are currently used by law enforcement officials throughout the country. 

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The three standardized field sobriety tests are:  the heel-to-toe test, the one leg stand test, and the nystagmus test.  During these tests, the officer will watch for intoxication indicators such as performer's inability to follow directions, performer's inability to remain balanced, and performer's wobbling or hopping during agility tests. 

Heel-to-Toe Test- law enforcement will ask the person to take 9 heel-to-toe steps, stop, turn, and take 9 more heel-to-toe steps. During this test, law enforcement will watch the person's coordination and balance carefully.

One Leg Stand Test - law enforcement will ask the person to stand with their heels together and their arms at their side.  Law enforcement will then instruct the person to raise one leg (their choice) six inches off of the ground and count out loud. During this test, law enforcement will watch the person's balance, ability to correctly count, and balance.

Nystagmus Test -law enforcement will hold an object about a foot from the person's face.  Law enforcement will then move the object from side-to-side and ask the person to follow the object with their eyes. During this test, law enforcement will watch the person's ability to follow the object with their eyes and coordination.

It is important to remember that the person performing the tests must meet the officer's high standards.  Each officer's standards will vary, even though law enforcement is supposed to comply with NHTSA regulations, which can lead to inaccurate tests results.  

San Mateo DUI Defense Attorney

The Law Office of Robert Tayac has helped countless clients fight their San Mateo DUI charges.  With years of trial and DUI litigation experience, Attorney Robert Tayac has the skill and legal expertise it takes to successfully contest his clients' DUI charges.  Whether your are a first time offender or a multiple DUI offender, you can be assured that Mr. Tayac will put every effort into helping you avoid a criminal conviction. 

Contact the Law Office of Robert Tayac for your free DUI case evaluation!

Any person who drives under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol places his/her life and others in great danger.  For this reason, California has adopted strict DUI laws and legal penalties.  If a person is convicted of driving under the influence in San Mateo County, he/she faces life-altering legal punishments such as jail time, fines, probation, license suspension, and vehicle impoundment.  When you are charged with DUI, you need the counsel of an experienced San Mateo attorney to increase your chances of winning in court.