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What factors do Standardized Field Sobriety Tests seek to assess?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | DUI

Being involved in a routine traffic stop can be stressful under any circumstance, but there may be some scenarios in which this process could prove more daunting in nature. Should authorities suspect the presence of impairment, you might not know what to expect or how best to respond to the situation. 

During a traffic stop for suspected DUI, it might not be uncommon for authorities to ask you to take part in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Understanding what these tests are and what factors they seek to assess could be vital to preparing for such a possibility, but this can still be a harrowing experience. 

Types of factors 

There are three main types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that are used to measure levels of impairment, and some of the factors these tests might seek to assess may include: 

  • Coordination: The walk-and-turn test may seek to assess your ability to maintain balance without swaying or using your arms for aid as you walk back and forth in a straight line. 
  • Balance: The one-leg stand test may require you to stand on one foot while keeping the other slightly off the ground. This test seeks to measure your ability to balance without hopping or swaying. 
  • Eye movements: The third type of SFST is known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus. This test may act to measure your ability to track an object without losing focus or exhibiting jerking of the eyes. 
  • Ability to follow instructions: As you perform each type of SFST, it may be helpful to note that authorities may also be paying close attention to your ability to follow their instructions. 

It may also be helpful to know that there are certain factors that could impact your ability to perform these tests, such as certain medical conditions that might affect your balance and coordination. 

Seeking advice on your options 

Facing allegations of driving while under the influence can be exceedingly intimidating, and a conviction for similar offenses could affect your life in various ways. If a traffic stop leaves you facing similar legal concerns, it could be in your best interests to seek guidance in evaluating your legal rights and options. Such a decision could help you better prepare to make informed choices about your case and help you develop a strategy with which to seek the best outcome possible regarding your future in Oklahoma during subsequent court proceedings.