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Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Washington

There are three sobriety tests used in the state of Washington: Horizontal gaze, walk and turn, and one leg stand.

When an officer has you follow something with your eyes they are administering the horizontal gaze test. The officer will move the object back and forth to have you follow it with your eyes. The officer is looking for jerking of the eye at rest, while moving, where the eye is at its furthest point away, and halfway between the furthest point and at rest.

In the walk and turn the officer will ask the driver to walk a straight line, either real or imaginary, heel to toe. Several things can happen which cause you to fail this examination: loss of balance while being given instructions, stepping off the line, stopping, losing count of steps, raising your arms, or making an incorrect turn.

Finally, in the one leg stand, the officer has the driver stand on one foot for a specified amount of time. The driver fails this test if you sway, raise your arms, put your foot down, or hop.


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