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What Are the Most Common Field Sobriety Tests and Are They Required?

Understanding Your Rights During an Illinois DUI Stop

Three separate sobriety tests are sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for use during DUI stops. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test. Despite being sanctioned by the NHTSA, these tests are extremely subjective, and you have the right to refuse to take them.

The standardized field sobriety tests include three assessments. During each test, the officer conducting the test looks for various indicators that suggest that the subject may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the officer looks for involuntary jerking of the eyes while the subject follows a moving pen or another stimulus. The walk-and-turn test requires the subject to walk heel to toe along a straight line while counting the steps, turn 180 degrees, and walk back while the officer looks for struggles with balancing or counting. Finally, during the one-leg stand, the subject must raise one foot off of the ground and stand on the other foot while counting until the officer says to stop. Again, the officer is primarily looking for the subject’s trouble with balance.

We Help With DUI-Related Concerns

At Anderson & Associates, P.C., we understand that field sobriety tests are entirely dependent on the observations and opinions of the attending officer. A suspect’s performance can also be affected by weather conditions, location, stress, injuries, and preexisting medical conditions. Therefore, it is possible to fail field sobriety tests even if you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In most cases, it is recommended that you politely decline when asked to take such tests.

However, if you have failed field sobriety tests and have been arrested on charges of driving under the influence (DUI), our skilled attorneys can provide the guidance you need. Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 630-653-9400 for an appointment today at any of our four convenient locations. We serve Wheaton, DuPage County, Cook County, Will County and Kane County.

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Wheaton, Illinois 60187
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Chicago, Illinois 60602
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Orland Park, IL 60462
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