What are DUI chemical and field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When police pulled you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, they may attempt to administer a variety of tests called chemical and field sobriety tests.

The purpose of these tests is to confirm their suspicion.

What are chemical tests?

Oklahoma law mandates that anyone arrested for a DUI must submit to a chemical test within at least two hours of driving. Typically, officers will attempt a breath test at the scene, but they may require blood, urine or saliva testing after the arrest.

What are field sobriety tests?

Oklahoma only allows the admission of the three standardized field sobriety tests in court. These tests include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. The officer will hold up an object, typically a pen, and ask you to follow it with your eyes only as they move it back and forth in front of your face.
  • One leg stand test. The officer will ask you to stand on one leg with the other 10 inches off the ground and count.
  • Walk and turn test. The officer will ask you to walk heel-to-toe across a line to see if you can follow the line.

Even as standardized tests, the officers have some discretion in judging them.

Do you have to take them?

You do not have to and should not submit to chemical or field sobriety testing. There are a significant number of ways these tests could indicate intoxication even when you are completely sober. However, you will likely still face arrest and have to submit to a chemical test later.

Remember, arrest and conviction are not the same things.

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