If a police officer stops you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), he could ask you to take a field sobriety test.
There are actually three tests: the Walk-and-Turn, the One-Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. Do you think you could pass one or more of these?
About the tests
Two of the tests involve balance, either as you try to walk a straight line or stand on one leg. The third, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, is about your vision. The officer will move an object from side to side and judge how well you can follow the movement with your eyes. Keep in mind that these tests are subjective. Observations will vary from one person to the next. When you complete the tests, two different officers will likely give you two different scores.
Issues affecting the outcome
If you have an inner ear condition or a foot, leg or back injury, you might not be able to pass the Walk-and-Turn or the One-Leg Stand. In fact, balance issues are common. Problems that affect balance include low blood pressure, certain medications and head injuries. You might not pass the One-Leg Stand if you have sciatica, a herniated disk or spinal stenosis. In addition, people 65 years of age and older and people who are 50 pounds or more overweight should not take the field sobriety tests.
A look ahead
Although Texas law requires that you provide a breath or blood sample if stopped for DWI, you do not have to submit to field sobriety testing—and you may have a good reason to decline. In building a defense strategy, your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest. You want the best outcome possible for your case.