Once the police have stopped you on reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation, they may ask you to take a field sobriety test based on their observations of you during the traffic stop. These tests include:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN): The HGN involves watching for smoothing tracking of an object and involuntary jerking motions of the eye while looking to the side.
- Walk and Turn: This test assesses a person's ability to complete a task while distracted. You'll take nine steps on a straight line while police watch for balance, following instructions, and wavering.
- One Leg Stand: This test involves holding one leg up six inches off the ground while counting out loud by one-thousandths for 30 seconds. The police are watching for balance, swaying, and putting your foot down.
All field sobriety tests are subjective tests. A person's ability to perform these tasks varies widely from person to person and can be impaired by health conditions, nervousness, or even natural ability. Of course, the police officer's observations from these tests are also subjective.
RECOMMENDATION: Your attorney should have extensive experience attacking field sobriety tests, probable cause for DWI arrests, and questioning DWI witnesses. Look for someone with additional, specialized DWI training.