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The following are the instructions you should receive before doing the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). The officer should also give you a demonstration prior to each test. These are important tests and have a great deal to do with whether or not there is probable cause to arrest you.

SFST Administrative Guide

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Instructions

  1. I am going to check your eyes. (Please remove your glasses)
  2. Keep your head still and follow the stimulus with your eyes only.
  3. Do not move your head.
  4. Do you understand the instructions?

Walk and Turn Instructions

  1. Put your left foot on the line and put your right foot in front of it with your right heel touching you left toe. Keep your hands at your side (Demonstrate)
  2. Do not start until I tell you to.
  3. Do you understand the directions?
  4. When I tell you to begin, take nine heel-to-toe steps on the line, turn around keeping one foot on the line, and return nine heel-to-toe steps. (Demonstrate heel-to-toe; three steps is sufficient)
  5. On the ninth step, keep the front foot on the line and turn by taking several small steps with the other foot. (Demonstrate turn)
  6. While walking, watch your feet at all times, keep arms at side, count steps out loud. Once you begin, do not stop until test is completed.
  7. Do you understand the instructions?
  8. You may begin the test.

One-Leg Stand Instructions

  1. Stand with your heels together and your arms at your side. (Demonstrate)
  2. Do not begin the test until I tell you to.
  3. Do you understand?
  4. When I tell you to, I want you to raise one leg, either leg, approximately six inches off the ground, foot pointed out. Keep both legs straight and keep your eyes on the elevated foot.
  5. While holding that position, count out loud; one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, and so forth until told to stop. (Demonstrate raised leg and count)
  6. Do you understand the instructions?
  7. You may begin the test.

More Information

Field Sobriety Tests

Article discussing the three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest.

Impaired Driving in Connecticut

Discussion of field sobriety tests and how they relate to a driver’s impairment by drugs as well as alcohol.

STEVEN TOMEO, ESQ.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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