What Are Other Common Field Sobriety Tests Used in California?

Posted By Thomas V. Wallin || 10-May-2011

California DUI attorney In yesterday's post, we highlighted the standardized field sobriety tests (FSTs) that you may be asked to perform during a California DUI stop. In addition, many police officials will still conduct other FSTs in order to prove intoxication. 

Specifically, a California driver may be asked to perform one or more of the following tests:

  • Rhomberg Test: The driver is asked to stand with feet together, arms down at the sides, and head tilted back with eyes closed for 30 seconds. If the driver is unable to maintain balance, grossly underestimates or overestimates the passage of 30 seconds, fails to properly follow instructions, or experiences body tremors, he or she may be arrested.
  • Finger-to-Nose Test: Standing in the same position, the driver is asked to touch the tip of the nose with the tip of the index finger, alternating between the left and right hand. The officer will instruct the driver with which hand to perform the test, and in total, will have the individual perform the test three times with the left hand and three times with the right hand. If the driver fails to perform the test to the officer's satisfaction, he or she may be arrested.
  • Finger Count Test: Holding the palm out in front of the body, facing upwards, the driver is asked to touch his or her thumb with the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger, and the pinky finger, while counting aloud from one to four. The driver is then asked to perform the task in reverse and until three complete cycles have been performed. If the driver fails to perform the task as instructed, he or she may be arrested.

Experienced California DUI Defense Attorneys will carefully review the circumstances in which any field sobriety tests were given. In addition, they will determine whether the testing officer adhered to the required protocols and has received the proper training. If not, lawyers most often can get any testimony given by the testing officer thrown out.

Further information about field sobriety tests and California DUI laws can be found at the California DUI Guide website. Drivers are also encouraged to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney if they are arrested for DUI after a field sobriety test.