Updated on February 3rd, 2021 at 10:49 pm

There are three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) for observing intoxication for a Wisconsin OWI arrest.  The three tests are Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn (WAT), and One Leg Stand (OLS).

Eye Test for a Wisconsin DUI

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is usually referred to as the eye test.  The police officer asks the driver to follow a stimulus (i.e. a pen or the officer’s finger) with their eyes without moving the head.  The police officer looks for dilation of the pupils, jerkiness of the eye while moving, and the onset of nystagmus (the shaking of the eye when looking far left or far right).  This test, when administered correctly, has valid results; however, certain medical conditions can give skewed results.

Wisconsin OWI Walk the Line Test

The Walk and Turn test has two phases: the directional phase and the operational phase.  The driver is asked to stand on a line (real or imaginary) with their right foot in front of the left foot and hands at their side while listening to the directions.  After the directions are given, the driver must take nine steps, turn as directed, and take nine steps back to the starting point.  The original standing position can be painful for people with hip, knee, or back issues.

Balancing Test for a Wisconsin OWI

The One Leg Stand test is also done in two phases: the directional phase and the operational phase.  The driver is asked to stand with feet together and hands at their side while given directions.  During the operational phase, they must lift one foot off the ground (about 6 inches) and count “one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.”  This can also be a difficult task for people with lower back, hip, knee or foot problems.

Hire Wisconsin OWI Defense Attorney Nathan J. Dineen

Did you “fail” a field sobriety test because of a medical condition?  Contact Nathan Dineen at 877-384-6800 for a Free Case Review.  Attorney Dineen is a Certified Field Sobriety Test Instructor and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE).  He instructs other attorneys how field sobriety tests work and understands the importance of proper administration.