In a DUI case, after they pull you over, the police will often have you do roadside tests, which are referred
to a as field sobriety tests (FSTs). One is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. In this test the police
officer will stand in front of you and move his finger or a pen back and forth in front of your face and have
you follow it with your eyes without moving your head. If you do this test and your eyes show Nystagmus,
which is involuntary jerking of the eye, this is an indication of being under the influence of alcohol.
Another test they will often have you do is the Walk and Turn test. This is a test in which you walk a straight
line, heel to toe, nine steps forward, turn around and walk nine steps back. They will often demonstrate
this but they won’t say anything else. If you use your arms to balance, (which is completely natural) or if
your heel is not close enough to your toe or if you step off the (real or imaginary) line, these are clues that
you have failed the test the police will say that that this indicates that you are under the influence of
alcohol. Therefore, you will fail. It’s very difficult to pass this test. The scoring is subjective, you are not
informed of some things that you are not supposed to do, i.e. use your arms for balance. Or maybe your
heel is not close enough to your toe., but you were never given an exact distance between your heel and
toe that would be considered too far apart.
A third test that is often given is called the One Leg Stand. You must hold one leg up off the ground for 30
seconds. Many times the officer will have you count One -one thousand, two one thousand, 3 one
thousand etc until you reach 30. Some people can’t pass this test stone-cold sober and others have
medical conditions, that might make this very difficult, i.e. inner ear problems prior surgeries to the legs.
Most people don’t normally hold 1 foot up for 30 seconds It is unnatural. The interesting thing is whether
the police officer reads you your Miranda Rights or not, it doesn’t matter because the field sobriety tests
are not testimonial. You didn’t SAY anything that incriminated yourself. It was your actions.