What to Do if Asked to Take a Field Sobriety Test


There are a wide range of field sobriety tests, FSTs, including the horizontal gaze test, that’s the eye twitch test, the walk and turn, the one-leg stand, heel to toe, finger to nose, one-leg stand, the reciting of the alphabet, modified position of attention, fingers to thumb, hand pat, et cetera. Most officers will use a battery of three to six tests. Unlike the chemical test, where refusal to submit may have serious administrative and criminal consequences, you are not legally required to take field sobriety tests. As noted earlier, the reality is that officers have usually made up their minds to arrest you when they give the field sobriety tests, and the tests are simply additional evidence, which the suspect inevitably fails. Thus, in most cases, a polite refusal may be appropriate, and your best bet.