COVID-19 UPDATE: Virtual and Phone Consultations Available in All Cases - We Offer Payment Plans - Learn More

Avvo Rating
Expertise
OCBA
State Bar of California
Featured in huffpost Live
Super Lawyers
Best Attorney

Field Sobriety Tests in Anaheim

Developed in the 1970s, the standardized field sobriety test (SFST) is a set of three tests performed by a patrol officer at a traffic stop to determine whether a person is impaired or intoxicated. The three tests include the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand test, and the HGN or horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

These three tests are defined by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in their Highway Safety Desk Book. The tests are scientifically validated and permissible as evidence in Anaheim courts.

Walk-and-Turn Test

You are asked to take nine steps touching heel-to-toe along a straight line after which you should turn around on one foot and take another nine steps.

The officer then looks for eight signs of impairment. Some signs include: a lack of balance while being given instructions, stopping the walk to regain balance and not being able to move in a straight line.

One-leg Stand Tests

You are asked to stand on one foot with the other foot about 6-inches off the ground. You are then asked to count from one thousand in ones. (1001, 1002, 1003…). You are asked to hold the position for about 30 seconds.

The officer looks for 4 signs of impairment. Some signs include not being able to keep the foot up and swaying while balancing. There are obvious defenses to the results of this test.

HGN Test

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test examines the involuntary repetitive and rapid movement of the eyeball as they eyes gaze from side to side. For the test, an officer will ask you to horizontally follow a small flashlight with your eyes.

The officer then looks for four signs of impairment. Some signs include the eyes being unable track smoothly as well as sustained and distinct jerking of the eyes.

However, it should be noted that field sobriety tests, such as the ones listed above, do not have a guaranteed, 100% accuracy rate, although they are high. There are exceptions and defenses that can be made in certain circumstances. There may have been an instance where the officer performing the test did not do it correctly in the standardized manner they were supposed to. Also, for people that are older, they may have physical limitations such as being disabled that may have impaired their bodies in the same way that alcohol may have. Even if they are completely sober, they may also have scored poorly on the field sobriety tests. In addition, if a driver is nervous or has a physical condition, then the results of the test may not be reliable in determining whether or the test taker is intoxicated. There may also have been other factors, such as insufficient lighting or an uneven surface that may have influenced the test taker’s ability to perform well.

If you are arrested after having taken these tests, you should immediately call an experienced DUI attorney to help you manage the situation. With some help and under the right circumstances, you may not be charged.

Call our office today to discuss your field sobriety test and potential DUI charges.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Lauren Johnson was amazing. She explained everything in ways that were easily understood, & answered all of my question. She was respectful, but also open & honest. She started work on my case the first day we met & got results quickly. She demonstrated passion, concern, and showed true feeling for my situation. My expectations were greatly exceeded. I would say she has an incredible attention for detail, & has a real dedication to her work. Lauren Johnson would be my first recommendation to any of my family or friends similarly in need of legal assistance. - Heather
★★★★★
I researched a lot of attorneys and had met with two attorneys before speaking with Ms. Johnson and retaining her. I was facing serious charges that could not be on my record, due to my job and was really scared. I felt hopeless & thought my life was ruined...until I found Ms. Johnson... - A criminal defense client (drug case)
★★★★★
She is on point. She knows her field well. I have to give credit where credit is due, you deserve it Lauren Johnson... - Anonymous, Victim of Domestic Violence
★★★★★
Lauren K. Johnson was my saving grace. I naively thought you were innocent until proven guilty. However, I soon discovered that CPS and family court does not see things that way... - Mrs. G, a CPS client
★★★★★
Thank you Lauren for your help and support in a very scary, bad time in my life! You were a ray of sunshine in a very dark place. I didn't have to step foot in a court room once, Lauren was there for me... - JB A criminal client