Updated on February 5th, 2024 at 08:51 pm

A person who has consumed a few drinks over “happy hour” or while out to dinner may not realize the amount of alcohol in their system.  Having the ability to walk a straight line, stand on one foot, or have smooth movement with your eyes may not keep you from getting a

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) for Drunk Driving

The three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn (WAT), and One-Leg Stand (OLS).  Each of these tests has a certain number of clues a Wisconsin police officer looks for to determine whether a person passes or fails.  Even if a driver passes all of these tests, a Wisconsin police officer may still have enough probable cause to make an arrest for drunk driving.

Establishing Probable Cause for Wisconsin DUI

A Wisconsin officer will use smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech as probable cause for a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT).  The smell of alcohol is broad concept because an officer cannot determine the type of alcohol consumed or the amount by “smell.”  Bloodshot eyes and slurred speech can occur when alcohol is consumed, however, there may be many other reasons a person has bloodshot eyes or slurred speech.  Bloodshot eyes can be due to a person wearing contacts, working in a construction area (i.e. sawdust), recently crying, or allergies.  A person’s speech could be slurred due to a recent tongue piercing; the tongue could have been burned by something the person ate or drank, and other natural reasons, such as having a lisp or having a foreign accent.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) no longer determines bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol sufficient enough to determine BAC and make an arrest.  An officer will use these clues to determine probable cause for the PBT.  A person with a BAC over .08 will be arrested and charged with a Wisconsin DUI.

Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney

Passing the field sobriety tests may not keep you from being arrested for a Wisconsin DUI, but hiring the right DUI Defense attorney will help lessen the burden.  Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney Nathan J. Dineen of Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. is certified as a Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE).  Contact him at 1-877-DUI(384)-6800 for a Free Case Review.