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WHAT ARE THE STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | March 31, 2017

Aside from breath alcohol tests like blood tests, urine tests and Breathalyzer tests, there are three primary ways that a Colorado police officer might determine whether you are inebriated during a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. These tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk-and-Turn, and the One-Leg Stand (OLS).

Here we will review each of these sobriety tests in detail:

-- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This test looks at the involuntary eye jerking that happens in everyone. When an individual is drunk, the eye jerking will be more pronounced. An officer may move his finger and ask you to follow it with your eyes to detect whether your eyes are jerking like this.

-- Walk-and-Turn: The walk-and-turn test can be performed by sober people quite easily, but inebriated people have a difficult time with it. The police officer asks the driver to walk heal-to-toe for a number of steps, turn around on a single foot and come back in the same way.

-- One-Leg-Stand: This is as simple as it sounds. The police officer asks the driver to simply stand on one foot for approximately 30 seconds. If the individual is off balance, it could indicate intoxication.

When Colorado officers employ the Standardized Field Sobriety Test effectively, it is correct in 91 to 94 percent of the cases, according to research. As such, evidence related to SFST results can be used against an accused person in court. That said, just because a Colorado driver failed his or her SFST does not mean that he or she will ultimately be convicted of DUI. Every accused person, no matter the evidence brought forward will have the chance to defend him or herself in court against a criminal charge.

Source: FindLaw, "Field sobriety tests," accessed March 31, 2017

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