DUI Field Sobriety Tests Typically Given in Colorado

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Standard DUI Field Sobriety Tests

YOU can refuse to complete any DUI Field Sobriety Test or Roadside tests.  You are being asked to complete the test to help the officer build enough probable cause to arrest you for driving under the suspension of drugs and/or alcohol.  For more information on DUI charges in Colorado, visit our blog on DUI Laws and DUI Stops.

There are three standardized field sobriety tests that are recognized by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). These DUI Field Sobriety Tests are suppose to give clues to an officer as to if the proponent is or is not under the influence of alcohol.  The tests are suppose to require the proponent to complete different tasks at the same time.  If the tests are not performed as required, then the validity of the DUI field sobriety test is questionable.

The DUI Field Sobriety test will start at the instructional phase. You would most likely be asked to stand with your feet together with your arms at your side.  This is part of the test as well as following the directions of the officer.  Each test has a certain number of clues that the officers are taught to look for.

  1. Walk and Turn

In this DUI Field Sobriety test, officers will look for 8 “clues” on this test.  You will be asked to walk heel to toe for nine steps on either a real or imaginary line, turn, and take nine steps back.  You will be judged on such things as stepping off the line (even if its imaginary), keeping your hands by your side, and completing the turn correctly.

  1. One Leg Stand

Typically officers will look for four clues in this test.  You will be asked to raise one leg approximately 6 inches off of the ground, while keeping your arms at your side and your eyes focused on the raised leg and count out loud.

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus 

Nystagmus is the involuntary jerking or bouncing of the eyes.  Officers are trained that one cause of Nystagmus could be alcohol or a Central Nervous System Depressant.  There are hundreds of other causes for Nystagmus.

Non-Standard Field Sobriety Tests

Often time and in addition to the above tests, officers may ask (which you can refuse) to complete other, non-standardized tests when conducting a DUI investigation in Colorado.  An officer would most likely testify that although not the standardized DUI Field Sobriety Tests, these unverified tests allowed him or her to make a determination into your sobriety or likelihood that you are operating a car under the influence of alcohol.  These tests can include:.

  1. Modified Attention Deficit or Romberg:  This test requires you to tilt your head back slightly and estimate 30 seconds in your head.  Officers are measuring your “internal” clock to determine if time is slower or quicker.
  1. Alphabet test:  This unverified DUI field sobriety test requires you to state (not sing) the alphabet starting from a mid-range letter.  This is not a scientifically valid test.
  1. Finger to Nose:  You would be asked to tilt your head backwards and touch your nose with your index finger.  This test has not been scientifically validated.

Thank you for visiting our post on DUI Field Sobriety Tests.  For additional information on DUI or DUI defense, click here or contact us a (303) 747-4686.