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Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Georgia

Field sobriety tests are given prior to arrest, and can serve as probable cause for arrest and proof for a conviction. Field sobriety tests are voluntary. However, a suspect does not have to be told they have the right to refuse such a test unless such suspect is in custody. There are three field tests approved in Georgia, which are the “walk and turn” test, the “one leg stand,” and the “horizontal gaze nystagmus.” Any additional tests, such as alphabet tests and physical dexterity tests are inadmissible. Tests should be challenged as to accuracy of the principles behind the test, the administration of the test, the credibility of the officer who requested the test, and all circumstances related to scoring the test. A videotape of the test should be reviewed to ensure the test was conducted properly.


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