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Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois

The standard field sobriety tests are used by the police to determine whether probable cause exists. Standard field sobriety tests that may be used include (1) horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN); (2) walk the line and (3) one leg stand test. The results of these tests are not admissible to prove intoxication, but only to show possible intoxication. Defendants may challenge the results based on certain conditions which may prove difficult for the person to pass the test under any condition, including age, weight, inadequate instructions provided by the officer, or other physical limitations of the driver.

The HGN test, or pupillaometer test measures eye movement. The driver is asked to follow a small light or pen with their eyes while not moving their head. Intoxicated person’s eyes will jerk during this process.

The walk the line test requires drivers to walk on a real or imaginary line, facing forward with their arms to their side. The driver is asked to walk nine steps, turn and walk nine steps back.

The one leg stand requires drivers to lift one foot about six inches from the ground for 30 seconds with their arms to their side.


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