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What are the different types of field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | DUI |

Washington takes incidents of drunk driving very seriously. If a person is suspected of DUI, a police officer can stop them and make them take a field sobriety test. There are several types of these tests.

Standing on one foot

A common field sobriety test involves standing on one foot. Police officers usually require the person to perform some other task while standing on one foot such as having their hands by their sides or counting by thousands. Officers look to see if the person sways, easily loses their balance, or properly follows their instructions.


This field sobriety test sees the person moving their eyes and following the police officer’s finger or an object. If the individual can’t focus their eyes well, it means they failed the test and won’t be permitted to drive.


The finger-to-nose test is used to see how well the person can balance. The person is required to stand straight, feet together and eyes closed. The police officer instructs them to extend their arms and touch a finger to their nose. If any missteps occur, the officer might issue a DUI charge.

Walk and turn

The walk and turn test also measures the person’s balance and ability to follow instructions. The officer requires the person to walk a specific number of steps, turn around and take the same number of steps back while walking with one foot directly in front of the other. If the person loses their balance or count or if they sway, the police officer will assume they are under the influence.

Rhomberg balance test

The Rhomberg balance test requires the person to stand straight while tilting their head back with eyes closed and estimating how long it takes for 30 seconds to pass. The police officer checks for balance issues, muscle spasms and poor time perception.