The Law Office of

CHRISTOPHER SOHOVICH



(619) 326-8161
The Law Office of

CHRISTOPHER SOHOVICH



(619) 326-8161
Put the power of an attorney who's been a
Judge's Assistant and Deputy District Attorney
on YOUR side.

Field Sobriety Tests

Chris Sohovich has received the same training from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) as the police officers throughout San Diego County have. He is qualified on administering all standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

Most people stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in San Diego don’t know that field sobriety testing is optional. The police will never tell you that the testing is optional because the test results will be used as evidence against you by the prosecution. You have the right to refuse to submit to any field sobriety test, and refusal does not conflict with the implied consent laws.

STANDARDIZED AND NON-STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

The following are the DUI field tests commonly accepted as “scientifically validated” and used by officers during a traffic stop:

  1. Horizontal Gaze (Nystagmus): Officer positions a finger or pen about a foot from a driver’s face, moving it from side to side while watching their eyes for jerking movements.
  2. Walk and turn: Officer instructs a driver to take nine heel-to-toe steps on a line, turn and repeat them back, looking for mistakes or loss of balance.
  3. One-leg stand: Driver stands with heels together, arms against their sides and counts out loud while raising one leg six inches off the ground, testing their balance.

Other, non- standardized field sobriety tests that can be used to support a police officer’s highly subjective opinion that you were driving under the influence can include the Rhomberg balance test, finger-to-nose or finger counting test, hand pat test, alphabet test and backwards count.

Most people are under the impression that field sobriety tests can determine if a person is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol, but that is not true. In fact the scientist who created the test, Dr. Burns states the tests were never designed to determine impairment. In many cases, it has been discovered that people have performed poorly during field sobriety tests for reasons other than intoxication. A person can perform poorly during the field sobriety tests for many reasons, including: slippery road conditions, poor lighting, poor instructions, and medical conditions that impair the person’s coordination.