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What to Expect in a Texas Field Sobriety Test

Getting pulled over in any circumstance is a drag.  Getting pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving flat out sucks.  Whether you’ve been drinking or not to have the police stop you, escort you out of your car, and then basically make you act like a gibbon monkey with tests that most sober people won’t pass is flat out awful.  However, it’s good to know if you are arrested for DWI you can call DWI Lawyer Houston to help your case.

Before we get to calling a lawyer here’s what to expect when you are asked to take a field sobriety test in the state of Texas.

The Walk and Turn

The Walk and Turn field sobriety test which is where you are asked to walk heel to for nine steps and then turn and take the same nine steps back to your starting point.  The test has eight points to it and you can only miss one point or risk being given the breathalyzer test.  The eight points are as follows.

  • Balance
  • Starting Too Soon
  • Wrong Number of Steps
  • Step Off the Line
  • Miss Heel to Toe by More Than 1 Inch
  • Rising Arms More Than 6 Inches from Your Side
  • Stopping Before the Ninth Step
  • Turning Wrong

Stand on One Leg

This is a tough one for many people while sober.  Whether you have injuries or you are simply just not super coordinated you may have trouble with this part of the field sobriety test.  What you have to do is stand on one foot with your toe pointed out six inches from the ground with your other leg straightened. Then you have to count until the police officer tells you to stop.  This typically lasts around 30 seconds. Reasons for failure are if you drop your foot at all or sway back and forth any. You are also not allowed to raise your arms more than six inches or hop on your foot at all.  You are only allowed to fail one of these points as well.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

This particular test analyzes your eyes and reactions from light stimulation.  The officer will shine a small light in your eye (either flashlight or light from a pen).  The officer will then tell you to follow the light with your eyes while not moving your head at all.  If your eyes “jerk” then you fail or have a point deducted. They use six clues in this test to see if you fail or not.  However, those points aren’t really talked about except for the jerking of your eyes and head movement. Let’s face it no one wants a light flashing in their eyes at any time of the day or night whether you are inebriated or not.

So this is what you can expect if you are pulled over for DWI in Texas.  Frankly, if the officer asks you out of the car for the above field sobriety tests you can pretty much rest assured you will be blowing into the breathalyzer shorty thereafter.  So don’t drink and drive and you’ll be alright.

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