Field Sobriety Exercises

 The officer now suspects you to be intoxicated to the point that your normal faculties are impaired. Field Sobriety Exercises aid the officer in this determination. In Florida, Field Sobriety Exercises are considered voluntary. Generally three tests are used to aid an officer’s determination of impairment.

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (Pen Test)– this exercise measures the involuntary jerking of your eyes as they track back and forth while following a pen or other object used by an officer. This is known as lack of smooth pursuit. When one is under the influence of alcohol, his or her eyes will not track smoothly, indicating impairment. Additionally the officer will be looking for the onset of nystagmus in your eye. If your eyes show nystagmus prior to 45 degrees, this will be used as an indicator of impairment, weighing in the officer’s determination to make an arrest.
  1.  Walk and Turn– This exercise begins by the officer requesting you to stand in a heel-to-toe manner with your arms down by your sides as the officer instructs you to walk down the line. The officer will be looking for lack of balance, improper number of steps, incorrect turn, inability to follow directions, and steps off of the line to confirm or dispel his suspicion of impairment.
  1.  One Leg Stand– This exercise requires you to stand with your arms at your sides while lifting one leg off the ground six inches for thirty seconds. The officer will be looking for lack of balance, movement of the arms from the body, inability to follow directions, the number of times you put your foot down and more in making his determination.

Contact Tampa DUI Attorney, Jeff Rich, today to learn more.