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Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Minnesota

Field sobriety test provide officers with probable cause to arrest drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence.  Standard field sobriety tests are the simple physical or cognitive tests the officer conducts when they suspect intoxication, such as the one-leg stand, walk and turn, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (eye test) and the preliminary breath test.  The test may also include standing with feet together while tipping head backward, touch nose with index finger, count backwards, count the number of fingers raised by officer and reciting the alphabet (or a part of it). A driver is not legally required to take the sobriety test, but refusal to take the test may serve as the officer’s probable cause to arrest the suspected driver.  An inadequately administered sobriety test may also serve as a defense in a DWI/DUI proceeding.


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