Sobriety Tests

It is not mandatory to perform or to blow into a handheld roadside breath test.

Standard field sobriety tests

I suggest that you do not perform these types of tests. Sober persons can have difficulty performing standard field sobriety tests. Medical conditions can cause people to perform poorly when administered the test.

The usual tests given:

  • Walk and turn
  • One leg stand
  • Horizontal gaze (or pen test)
  • Finger to nose
  • Finger count
  • Saying the ABC’s

Note: NONE of the tests researched have been proven to be 100% accurate.

There are many factors that may affect the performance and accuracy of these roadside tests:

  • Nerves
  • Illness
  • Headlights
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Type of footwear
  • Road conditions
  • Coordination or lack of

What the officers are looking for:

  • Weaving/Swerving
  • Following too closely
  • Stopping for no reason
  • Going slower than the speed limit (speeding is not a sign of impairment)
  • Slowed response to traffic signals or signs
  • Rapid change in speed
  • Close contact with center lane or lane makers
  • Turning abruptly, widely, or illegally


  • Drinking in car
  • Fumbling fingers
  • Gripping steering wheel
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Soiled clothing
  • Drivers head stuck out of the window
  • Erratic or obscene gestures
  • Blank look on driver’s face