Field Sobriety Testing (SFST)

You were pulled over for a traffic offense and the officer asked or requested that you do a few tests to make sure your not impaired. These tests are designed for failure and a high percentage of people are unable to pass some or all of them in perfect conditions. Officers giving tests are often bad communicators and explain the test so terribly that you could fail before you’re even asked to begin.

Law enforcement commonly refers to these tests as SFST’s, which stands for Standard or Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. These tests were designed and are are trained and regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Because they are standardized, the test are to be performed exactly the same each time.

There a three main test given by law enforcement in Missouri.

(1) HGN or Horizontal Gaze and Nystagmus

(2) WAT or Walk and Turn

(3) OLS or One Leg Stand

During these tests the officer is looking for specific clues of impairment. Some of these clues can be subjective if the officer does not administer the test correctly or if they are not properly trained on what is an valid clue.

For example, a clue for the One Leg Stand could be “Uses arms for balance”, this clue is often checked just because you move your hands outward. It only becomes a real clue when you move your arms at least 6” away from your body.

Many times law enforcement will improperly use additional field sobriety tests like counting backwards, ABC’s, finger to nose or numerous other non-standardized tests. JCS law can aggressively attack the probable cause used by law enforcement to make an arrest decision in your case.

Our SFST Certified staff member can aggressively and earnestly review the police report for your case and find any mistakes and/or errors that may be present. Giving us the upper hand against the prosecution in your case.


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