Standardized Field Sobriety Test
The three standardized field sobriety tests (SFST) that are administered in a DWI investigation are the:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN),
- Walk and Turn, and
- One Leg Stand.
These tests were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a tool for helping officers determine whether a driver is impaired. Officers are trained how to administer these tests from a manual created by NHTSA. According to the NHTSA manual, these three tests can be an effective tool for determining intoxication above a .10 WHEN THEY ARE ADMINISTERED PROPERLY, but even then they have varying percentages of accuracy.
Remember, you can refuse to submit to the Field Sobriety Tests (even though the police will not tell you that when they ask you to do them). Lindsey recommends always refusing these tests for the simple reason that she believes these tests are difficult for even a healthy, sober person to perform. These tests are supposedly designed to test whether or not you have the “normal” use of your mental and physical faculties. However, there is nothing “normal” about walking heel to toe in a straight line and not using your arms for balance.
Lindsey Scott has taken the NHTSA SFST Practitioner Course for Lawyers and is trained to recognize common mistakes officers make when administering the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
It is important to have any attorney who understands the flaws in these tests and who can effectively fight against them.
REMEMBER, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO DO THESE TEST