Field Sobriety Tests

Any kind of field sobriety test can be challenged by your DUI defense attorney

Were you recently stopped on suspicion of a DUI? Did you gladly hop out of your vehicle and perform various field sobriety tests, confident they would show you were not actually impaired by drugs or alcohol? Were you surprised and disappointed to get arrested anyway?

You are not alone. Many drivers make the mistake of consenting to field sobriety tests. Rather than helping their position, they actually end up making matters worse by creating more evidence for the arresting officer to use against them.
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Here are the real facts about field sobriety tests:

  • They are not mandatory—you may politely refuse to perform them
  • They are designed to confirm a suspicion of guilt, not prove innocence
  • They are notoriously unreliable
  • They can be challenged by your DUI attorney

Now you might be wondering…

…What exactly is a field sobriety test anyway?


Not to be confused with blood or breath tests (which are mandatory at the police station), field sobriety tests are given during DUI stops to measure a driver’s attention, coordination, agility, and balance. The most common field sobriety tests used in California are:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test—following a light or pen side to side with your eyes
  • Walk and Turn Test—walking 9 steps in a straight line, then turning around and walking 9 steps back
  • One Leg Stand Test—balancing on one leg for 30 seconds


There are many other types of field sobriety tests, but only these three have been designated as “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA’s research found all other tests too unreliable.

However, this definitely does not mean that the standardized tests are perfect. In fact, some studies have shown they are at best about 80 percent reliable. So, if you have failed a field sobriety test in connection with a DUI arrest, don’t give up! Just get a DUI defense attorney to help you challenge the test results.

Chambers Law Firm is Field Sobriety Test Evidence’s Worst Enemy

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At Chambers Law Firm we are well acquainted with the many shortcomings of field sobriety tests. After examining the evidence in your case, we can quickly determine the best way to go about challenging the results of any tests you may have failed.

Possible strategies include arguing that you failed the field sobriety test due to:

  • Poor instructions
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Slippery pavement
  • Lack of natural coordination
  • Injuries or medical problems

There’s No Need to Fear Field Sobriety Tests When You Can Hire Us

Worried about the potential impact of a failed field sobriety test on your case? Don’t be. Just call 855-397-0210 now to learn more about how Chambers Law Firm can help challenge test results and build the strongest possible defense for your case.

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