What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

When a driver is pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer may conduct field sobriety testing. These tests are used by law enforcement to determine if they have probable cause to arrest the driver for drunk driving.

Coodin & Overson, PLLP, in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, protects the rights of drivers that have been pulled over and arrested for drunk driving. We have extensive knowledge of field sobriety testing, the ways in which the tests can produce inaccurate results, and the methods that can be used to build solid defense strategies on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation and put our knowledge about field sobriety testing in Minnesota on your side.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are flawed — even sober people can have problems performing them without making a mistake. The three main field sobriety tests used in Minnesota are:

  • One leg stand: The driver is asked to stand on one leg and may be asked to alternate legs. If the driver can stand on one leg, he or she will pass the test.
  • Walk and turn: The driver is asked to walk in a straight line heel to toe for nine steps, turn around and walk back to the starting point heel to toe. If the driver can stay on the line and maintain his or her balance, he or she will pass the test.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN): The driver is asked to follow a pen or similar item with his or her eyes. The police officer moves the pen from side to side and observes the individual's eye movements. If the individual's eyes do not jerk or bounce around, he or she will pass the test.

Our Lake Elmo DWI/DUI defense lawyers know that each person's body is different. Some people may have great balance, others may not. Some people may have eye muscle control issues that prevent them from successfully completing the HGN test. Others may have physical ailments or problems that hinder their ability to move fluidly. In building our DWI/DUI defense strategy, we take into full consideration the physical and chemical components of our client's performance. Additionally, we look at ways the tests were administered to ensure law enforcement followed proper procedure.

If the driver fails field sobriety testing and is arrested, he or she will be given a blood, urine or Breathalyzer test. Recent litigation involving the Intoxilyzer 5000 EN machine has resulted in many Minnesota jurisdictions using the DataMaster breath machine or blood or urine tests.

Contact a St. Paul DUI Defense Attorney

If you were pulled over for drunk driving, administered a field sobriety test and arrested, do not hesitate to call Coodin & Overson, PLLP, at 651-319-5180 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Located in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, Coodin & Overson, PLLP, advises and represents clients throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota.