What are some common field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2020 | DUI

It can be overwhelming at first when you get pulled over, especially if you are unsure of what the officers commonly do to check if you are drunk.

While at a checkpoint, here are some common field sobriety tests that you will likely encounter.


The most basic of these is testing whether you can stare without involuntary eye movements. If the officer shines a flashlight in your eyes and asks you to look up and down, he or she is checking to see if your gaze is jerking around. This tests for a high blood-alcohol content.


Standing on one leg showcases your balance, which also tests your sobriety. Often, you have to keep one foot on the ground while reciting a string of numbers to show you can multitask. If you sway or seem otherwise inebriated, it may be an indication you are under the influence of alcohol while driving.

Ability to walk

Another common indicator for drunkenness is the walk-and-turn test. You step forward a few paces, turn, and then return to your original standing place. If your balance seems off or if you cannot follow basic verbal instructions, it may be an indication of inebriation.

Other circumstances

However, sometimes there are extenuating reasons or circumstances for why you are unable to complete these tests. You may have physical issues or you may not be fully mobile for a variety of reasons. These tests are informal and usually take into account these factors. It is important to tell anyone testing you why you are unable to complete these tests if you are in this situation.