When a person is pulled over and a law enforcement officer suspects that the driver of the vehicle is driving while under the influence of alcohol, he or she may suggest that you perform field sobriety tests, also known as “roadside” sobriety tests.


Common field sobriety tests include:


  • Horizontal and vertical gaze 
  • Walk and turn
  • One leg stand
  • Rhomberg balance test
  • Finger to nose
  • Finger count
  • Hand pat
  • Alphabet test
  • Counting test
  • PBT or preliminary breath test


Unfortunately, field sobriety tests are a poor way to determine whether someone is actually driving under the influence of alcohol, because there are many reasons that someone may not be able to perform the tests correctly, not just alcohol consumption.


Factors that may affect the reliability of field sobriety tests include:


  • Nystagmus 
  • Poor balance
  • Physical disability
  • History of a brain injury


If for some reason a driver cannot perform any field sobriety test to the officer’s satisfaction, he or she may be arrested and charged with a DUI, even if no alcohol consumption had taken place before driving.


It is important to know that you do not have to consent to any field sobriety test when pulled over under the suspicion of DUI. It is important to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to exercise your rights under Maryland law. Felipe Santo Domingo can educate you regarding your rights and advise you on the best course of action to take in your case. Call to schedule an appointment for a consultation today. 1-800-DUI.