Field Sobriety Tests for Suspected DUI Offenders in Illinois

The Big Picture

DUI arrests in IllinoisDid you know that majority of DUI arrests in Illinois are significantly influenced by the results of the Field Sobriety Tests or FSTs? Police officers utilize these tests for determining if the suspected motorist they pulled over are really under the influence or not. In Illinois, police officers typically administer three tests, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and Once Leg Stand.

The HGN or Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

The HGN test is deemed the most dependable and consistent intoxication indicator among the three FSTs, according to the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and various DUI lawyers in Springfield Illinois. During the test, the police officer will ask you to stand with your arms at your sides and both feet together, all while following with your eyes whatever the officer is slowly waving — a finger, pen, or a similar object — in front of your face from one side to the other. The police officer will be watching out for involuntary eye jerking, which is a common indicator of intoxication.

The WAT or Walk and Turn Test

During a WAT test, the police officer will instruct you on what to do while standing heel to toe, with your arms at your sides. Following the police officer’s instructions, you’ll then have to walk either an imaginary or real line on the ground for nine steps in the heel to toe manner, while looking down at your feet, arms glued to your sides, without going off the line. You then have to do it all over again, this time going back to your starting position. The police officer will be looking for signs of intoxication as you walk the line.

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The OLS or One Leg Stand

The OLS test begins with the police officer instructing you on what you’re about to do. You’re supposed to raise one foot (your choice) off the ground, for around six inches high, gaze at your toes, and count starting from 1001 and so on until you’re asked to stop counting. The police officer must stop you once you’ve reached the 30-second mark. You could be considered under the influence of something if you fail to remain in the one leg stand position before your 30 seconds are up.

In the event that you failed one or more of the FSTs, it is crucial to note that you shouldn’t necessarily believe that you really believe the test results just like that. Consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to see if you could challenge the test results and acquit you of the DUI charge.