What is a field sobriety test and do I have to take it?

During a DWI Investigation, an officer certified to conduct Standardized Field Sobriety Tests may request a citizen to do three roadside tests. These tests are NOT pass or fail. The citizen’s performance only gives the officer clues in his subjective opinion as to possible intoxication. These standardized tests are approved by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) and must be conducted in the same manner every time. Any variation of these tests invalidates the entire test.


  • The first test is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN).
  • The second test is the Walk & Turn (Walk the line).
  • The third test is the one leg stand (Hold one foot 6 inches above the ground and count out loud to 30 or until the officer tells the citizen to stop).