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Rhode Island Field Sobriety Tests

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer may ask you to perform one or more field sobriety tests. These are physical and cognitive tests that are meant to show whether you are impaired in any way by drugs or alcohol. Depending on your performance on these tests, you may be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test or arrested for DWI.

Unfortunately, the reliability of field sobriety tests has been questioned. If you have been arrested based on your performance of these tests, you need an experienced Rhode Island DWI defense lawyer who can help you protect your rights. To learn more, call the offices of Matthew Marin at 401-287-4384 today.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

There are only three sobriety tests that have been tested and found to be generally reliable in determining a person’s level of impairment. They are:

  • The one-leg stand: In this test, the suspect must stand on one leg with the other leg 6 inches off the ground, with his or her arms at his or her side. He or she must then count to 30 before putting his or her leg down.
  • The walk and turn: In this test, you must take nine straight steps heel to toe, turn around, and take nine more steps in the opposite direction. You will likely be asked to count the number of steps you take out loud.
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test: In this test, the officer will move a pen, flashlight, or other object back and forth horizontally. The suspect will be asked to follow this object with his or her eyes without moving his or her head.

While these are the only standardized tests, officers may also ask suspects to complete other tasks, such as reciting the alphabet or counting backwards. However, it is important to note that a number of factors can influence a person’s performance of standardized or non-standardized sobriety tests.

If you have been accused of failing a sobriety test, you need a Rhode Island DUI defense attorney with extensive knowledge of these tests and their potential failings.

Contact Us

Matthew Marin is an experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island drunk driving defense attorney. To discuss how he can help you with your case, contact our offices by calling 401-287-4384.