Most Baltimore drivers know that if they are pulled over for a suspected
drunk driving violation, they could be subjected to a field sobriety test.
However, most people have never had to complete a field sobriety test
and they don’t know what such a test entails. Knowing what is involved
can help you if you are ever subjected to one because you will be calmer
and less stressed.
Most drivers will be tested with the Standardized Field Sobriety Test,
which is sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
The SFST has various segments, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus,
the Walk-and-Turn and the One-Leg Stand.
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test looks for an involuntary movement of
the eyes that happens with intoxicated persons. When a driver is intoxicated
with alcohol, there is an exaggerated jerking movement in the eyes. This
test asks drivers to look from side to side so police can judge whether
the jerking is exaggerated.
The Walk-and-Turn test is supposed to be easily performed by sober individuals,
but for intoxicated individuals, it becomes very different. Suspects are
asked to take nine heel-to-toe steps down a straight line. Then they are
asked to turn around on one foot and return in the same way going the
The One-Leg Stand test is just like it sounds. You have to hold a foot
approximately six inches above the ground and maintain the position for
30 seconds. If the suspect loses balance, needs to use his or her arms
or hops around to keep from falling down, it could be a sign of impairment.
Just because a Baltimore driver
fails his or her field sobriety test does not necessarily mean that the driver is impaired. Indeed, drivers
still may be able to employ a successful DUI defense even after failing
a field sobriety test.