Field sobriety tests are roadside evaluations made by the officer during a traffic stop when the officer suspects drunk driving. Field sobriety tests are used as a basis for probable cause to make a DUI Arrest, along with other signs of impairment from your driving and interaction with the officer.
When stopped, and upon exiting the vehicle, the officer will instruct you to perform certain field sobriety tests. The tests are purportedly designed to test your level of intoxication, and are generally used by the officer to establish probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Despite the situation and what the officer may indicate, you are not required to perform field sobriety tests. There is no penalty for not performing the tests. Although, in many instances, the officer may arrest you anyway.
There are 3 field sobriety tests that are generally used in Ohio: Horizontal Gaze Nystamus (HGN test); the walk and turn; and the one leg stand. These are standardized tests outlined in the NHTSA’s DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing manual. Each test has its own indicators of whether you are too intoxicated to drive.
If the officer believes you have performed poorly on the field sobriety tests, you will likely face a DUI arrest.