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Field Sobriety Tests

Santa Rosa Field Sobriety Tests Defense Attorney

Are You Required By Law to Take a Field Sobriety Test?

A police officer may tell you to take a field sobriety test after you have been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) but that does not mean you must take one. In fact, there are no immediate legal ramifications for refusing to take an optional field sobriety test but there could be massive consequences if you do take one. Despite this truth, you are probably never going to be told it by law enforcement.

If you were arrested for a DUI after taking a field sobriety test that you otherwise would not have taken had you known your full rights, you should contact the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. to connect with our Santa Rosa DUI attorney. With more than a decade’s worth of experience handling criminal law cases and a focus on DUI defense, we have proven ourselves to be the reliable, tenacious defenders the people of Sonoma County need.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests in California

There are a few standardized field sobriety tests that California highway patrol officers tend to use to try to determine if a driver is intoxicated.

The three most common field sobriety tests are:

  • One-leg stand: The driver will be instructed to stand on one leg for an extended period of time without the assistance of their arms for balance.
  • Walk-and-turn: The driver is told to walk a straight line without using their arms as balance, reach the end of it, turn around sharply, and repeat the walk.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: The driver must follow the lit end of a penlight with their eyes and with no movement of their head.

The officer who administers a field sobriety test in California looks for signs of unsteadiness and listens for strange comments that could indicate intoxication. Although each test is somewhat unique, they each share one thing in common: they should not be taken.

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