What Are the Field Sobriety Tests Used in Georgia?

Field sobriety tests are pretty universal across the country, including in Georgia, but you still need to know what they are and how they are used against you in a court of law during a DUI case.

Police officers throughout the state use field sobriety tests to help determine the blood alcohol content level of suspected drunk drivers. If arrests are made, the prosecutors handling the cases use the results of the field sobriety tests conducted by officers as evidence in court.

One thing you must know is that these field sobriety tests are not mandatory. You have the option to decline the tests if you so choose after being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. If you do submit to the tests and fail, you will be arrested by the same officer who conducted the tests.

There are three field sobriety tests sanctioned throughout the country by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The three tests are the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. All three of these tests have been created to determine if a person is under the influence of alcohol. Researchers believe that alcohol impairs the motor skills required to pass these tests.

The one-leg stand test and walk-and-turn test measure a person’s ability to follow directions and their coordination and balance. The nystagmus test allows the officer to watch the eyes of the person suspected of drunk driving. It shows the involuntary jerking of the eye, which can be exaggerated if intoxicated.

Even though the results of these field sobriety tests are submitted as evidence at trials, many researcher believe that they are not a good way to determine the BAC of someone suspected of drunk driving. Researchers have said that there is no conclusive evidence out there that says a sober person will perform better than an intoxicated person on these tests.

Always know that even though you submitted to a field sobriety test and were arrested for drunk driving, it does not mean your fight is done. There is still hope for you in fighting the charge.