What Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?

January 24, 2024 | Alex Reid
What Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?


When you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the officer will likely ask you to perform a series of tests to determine your level of impairment. These tests are known as field sobriety tests (FST) and are used to help the officer determine whether to arrest you for DUI. In South Carolina, the most common field sobriety tests are the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests.

While these tests are considered to be “standardized,” they are not always accurate. In fact, they are often administered incorrectly, which can lead to false-positive results. If you were arrested for DUI after failing a field sobriety test, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.

At Fedalei & Reid LLC, we have successfully defended countless individuals facing DUI charges in Greenville and its surrounding areas. We know how to challenge the results of field sobriety tests and can help you fight for a favorable outcome.

Call our office today at (864) 668-1661 or contact us online to request a free, confidential consultation with one of our Greenville standardized field sobriety tests lawyers. Hablamos Español.


There are three tests that are considered to be “standardized” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These tests are the most commonly used field sobriety tests and are used by law enforcement officers across the country to help determine whether a driver is impaired.

The three standardized field sobriety tests are:

  • Walk-and-Turn Test: This test requires the driver to take nine steps in a straight line, heel-to-toe, turn on one foot, and then take nine steps back. The officer will be looking for signs of impairment, such as starting too soon, stopping, losing balance, stepping off the line, using arms for balance, or failing to touch heel-to-toe.
  • One-Leg Stand Test: This test requires the driver to stand on one foot and count to 30. The officer will be looking for signs of impairment, such as swaying, hopping, using arms for balance, or putting the foot down.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: This test requires the driver to follow a moving object (usually a pen or flashlight) with their eyes. The officer will be looking for signs of nystagmus, which is an involuntary jerking of the eyes. Nystagmus is often caused by alcohol or drug impairment.


If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Greenville, SC based on a failed field sobriety test, it is crucial not to delay seeking reliable legal representation. The stakes are high, and the consequences can be life-altering. Our experienced DUI lawyers are dedicated to providing you with relentless advocacy and strategic defense.

We understand the gravity of the situation and will work tirelessly to build a strong defense on your behalf. With our extensive knowledge of South Carolina’s DUI and field sobriety test laws and courtroom experience, we will vigorously fight to challenge the prosecution's case, seek a favorable outcome for you, and protect your best interests.

Contact Fedalei & Reid Law LLC online or give us a call at (864) 668-1661 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our DUI defense lawyers in Greenville, SC! We're here to help you navigate this challenging situation and provide the guidance you need.

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Alex Reid

Attorney, Founding Partner

Alex Reid has been practicing law in South Carolina since 2019. During his tenure as Assistant Public Defender he has represented clients on a multitude of criminal defense cases, from the smallest drug possession to the most serious violent crimes. Alex became a lawyer for one simple reason, to help people and fight unyieldingly for their rights.

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