Field Sobriety Tests (“FST”) are a series of coordination exercises used by police officers to determine alcohol impairment. In reality, however, they are used merely as a tool to gather evidence to support a later conviction against you. One thing a police officer will never tell you is that FST’s are completely voluntary. Unless you are on probation for a prior DUI, you should NEVER do them! In fact, many police officers will threaten to impound your car or take you to jail if you refuse. What they don’t tell you is, they will arrest you ANYWAY, because there is no such thing as passing FST’s. For example, if you are asked to do 20 things and did 19 of them correctly, guess what will show up in the police report? That’s right, the ONE thing you did wrong. The following are the most common FST’s that police officers utilize in Southern California; as you will see, the instructions can be confusing, and it is easy to find fault with all aspects of the tests, even if you are sober!
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“HGN”)