711 West Moreland Boulevard, #100A, Waukesha, WI 53188
Facebook Twitter Linkedin


Bucher Law Group, LLC

How Wisconsin Field Sobriety Tests Are Administered

 Posted on November 06, 2017 in DUI/OWI

Untitled-design-21.jpgWhen you are pulled over for drunk driving, you may be confused and unsure of what to expect. In addition to a breath test, a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin will ask you to complete a series of field sobriety tests prior to your potential arrest. Field sobriety tests are known as “divided attention” tests, which are intended to evaluate your ability to drive safely.

Although an officer may ask you to complete a few non-standardized tests, there are three field sobriety tests that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recognizes as the most accurate. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus or HGN test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test.


The Three Standard Field Sobriety Tests

  • HGN Test

 In the HGN test, an officer will position an object like a pen a foot away from your face. Then, they will move the object from one side to the other while paying attention on the movement of your eyes. In the event that you jerk before the officer reaches a 45 degree angle, the officer will believe you were too intoxicated to drive.

  • Walk and Turn Test 

The walk and turn test involves an officer asking you to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line. After the ninth step, he or she will ask you to turn on one foot and return in the opposite direction. 

If you are unable to maintain your balance, begin walking before the officer has finished giving instructions, lose your balance while turning, do not take the correct number of steps, stop walking to regain balance, fail to touch your feet heel-to-toe, and/or use your arms to maintain balance, the officer may believe that you should be arrested for drunk driving.

  • One-Leg Stand Test

In the one-leg stand test, an officer will ask you to stand on one leg with the other foot six inches off the ground. Your hands must be by your side. While you are standing this way, you will need to count in thousands until you reach 30. If you put your foot down on the ground before the test is over, use your arms for balance, or sway, the officer will likely arrest you for an OWI.


Contact a Delafield DUI Defense Attorney

If an officer has made the decision to administer field sobriety tests, they believe you are intoxicated and plan to arrest you. In the event you do well on these tests, you may be dismissed. Since errors in field sobriety tests do arise, they may lead to inaccurate results. 

For this reason, if you have been arrested for an OWI after taking field sobriety tests, you should contact our Milwaukee County OWI attorneys who can challenge the accuracy of the tests and may be able to help you avoid a conviction. Contact our Milwaukee County OWI attorneys today.






Share this post:
AVVO SuperLawyers BBB Thervo 2017 Martindale Hubbel City Voter List Criminal Defense Blog
Back to Top