Los Angeles Downtown Skyline

DUI Sobriety Tests

California DUI Field Sobriety Tests

When a police officer stops a motorist suspected of DUI, that officer must have reason to make the traffic stop. Any violation of the California Vehicle Code (speeding, broken taillight, etc.) can be probable cause for the officer to pull you over.

The officer will be making observations throughout the traffic stop to determine if there is a suspicion of driving under the influence. For example, is there an odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath? Is the driver’s speech slurred or are the eyes bloodshot? How does the driver respond to questions or directions?

Many field sobriety tests require attention to both physical and mental tasks at the same time. Physical tasks may include balance or coordination. Mental tasks may include comprehension of verbal instructions from the officer, processing of that information, and recall from memory. For example, a driver suspected of DUI must listen to the officer’s instructions on how far to raise his or her leg and how long to hold it up and balance.

Field Sobriety Tests – What You Should Know

Standardized field sobriety tests were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These tests are part of a training program designed to help police officers better detect potential DUI suspects.

Field sobriety tests in California may include any of the following: Walking and turning test (walking a straight line heel to toe and turning around) Balancing test (standing on one leg) Horizontal gaze test (following a moving object with eyes and no movement of the head)

In addition to these standardized tests, an officer may request that a driver perform non-standardized tests as well. The most common test people think of that would fall under the category of non-standardized is the finger-to-nose test where you close your eyes, open your arms out to the side, and attempt to touch your index finger to the tip of your nose.

Experienced California DUI Attorney Can Help

It is important to keep in mind that field sobriety tests are completely voluntary because, under the Fifth Amendment, you have a right not to provide evidence that can be used against you in court. Field sobriety tests, like other types of DUI testing, may be administered improperly and provide inaccurate results.

At Hoffman & Associates, we have more than 30 years of experience defending DUI cases in California. Our experienced DUI lawyers understand how field sobriety test results can be challenged in court. We fight to protect your rights and good reputation through a solid defense that may get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed. For a phone or office consultation, call us at 323-655-3900. Our skilled DUI attorneys work in courts throughout California and are ready to help you with your case.

Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog - Field Sobriety Tests
Client Reviews
★★★★★
I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time... Micaiah Botts
★★★★★
My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
★★★★★
Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
★★★★★
I have been working with Mr. Hoffman for over 11 years. I have seen first hand his genuine dedication to his clients, and how his experience, knowledge and passion have gotten clients fantastic results. He treats each of his clients as his only client, and takes the time to develop detailed strategies and defenses for each individual case. I have never hesitated to refer Mr. Hoffman to anyone who has asked me for a good Criminal Defense attorney. He is a fantastic attorney!... Neeta P.
★★★★★
I had a DUI issue recently. I have never had a problem with the law as serious as this one. I did panic a bit after and knew I had to get a lawyer to help my future. I researched the Web and read the reviews for awesome DUI Lawyers. Hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. Ron's 30 years experience and step by step guidance helped me with my case. Jonie was amazing with keeping me calm. Ron Hoffman is a great lawyer and I would refer any friends or family to him... Manuel Gomez
★★★★★
Ron was so accommodating and professional. With a Firm like his you wouldn't expect him to be as accessible, but he immediately returned phone calls, was easy to communicate with and was very sympathetic to my situation. He went above and beyond and was able to get a better result than I'd hoped or expected. I highly recommend Ron Hoffman and his firm. He made a difficult and anxiety fueled process bearable and made me feel safe. He is a lovely man. One does not wish to need a criminal attorney, but if you do need one, Ron's the guy to call... Teri A.
★★★★★
Ron and his team were the perfect pairing for what I needed taken care of. Every step of the way he was extremely helpful and informative (not his first rodeo). His work ethic and attitude were exemplary and it showed with the results of using his services. I would recommend anyone I know to give Ron a call if they need help in his realm of expertise. Many thanks Ron and associates!... Donald N.
★★★★★
I didn't hire a lawyer for my first DUI... What a mistake! Ronald goes above and beyond with his art and knowledge of custom strategy according to your case. lawyer of the year (every year)... Adam R.
★★★★★
I hate lawyers. They are hard to get a hold of, greedy and unreliable. Ron is the opposite of all these things. He deserves 6 stars, and I very much recommend him. He helped me through my case with nothing but kindness, understanding, and knowledge and eventually got it dropped. Thanks for everything Ron!... Avi Z.