Am I required to perform the Field Sobriety Tests?

You are not required to perform field sobriety tests in the event you are pulled over for DUI.  But let’s explain exactly what a field sobriety test is, so you don’t accidentally refuse to do something that you are required to do. You are required to provide your driver license, registration and proof of insurance.

The field sobriety tests are actions the officer will ask you to perform that help the officer determine whether you are physically able to operate your vehicle.  They are designed to test motor skills, attention to detail, and the ability to understand and retain information.

The three most common field sobriety tests include the HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus), the 9-step Walk and Turn, and the 1 leg stand.

The HGN or Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a test where the officer asks you to follow his finger or pen with only your eyes, while keeping your head still.

In the 9-Step Walk and Turn the officer will ask you to walk nine steps in a straight line, turn around and walk nine steps back.

The third one is the 1 leg stand.  The officer will ask you to keep your hands to your side, stand on one foot and count to 30.

Additional tests could include an officer asking you to count your fingertips backwards and then forwards several times, or asking you to count backwards from a given number to another number, or reciting the alphabet from a given beginning letter to an ending letter, not necessarily A-Z.

All of these examples are field sobriety tests that you are not required to perform.

If an officer asks you to perform a field sobriety test and you choose to decline, respond politely that you feel the test is too subjective, and not required by Utah law.