A Field Sobriety Test is the test a police officer will give a suspect whom he believes has been driving under the influence of alcohol (or possibly other illegal substances).  In most areas of the US, even if a breathalyzer is available to the officer, the Field Sobriety Test MUST be administered first.

The following items are common to many FST's; the exact nature of the test differs by county and by state.
 


Other intangible factors--the smell of alcohol on your body, slurred speech, belligerent behavior--may also be used by the police officer to evaluate your level of sobriety.

A note: The Field Sobriety Test IS YOUR FRIEND. Officers usually hate administering FSTs; the only reason they do is that it's required BY LAW that they do so. If you're being given a FST, your friendly neighborhood officer has pretty much already decided that you are drunk. Your behavior during the FST may be your last chance to convince him otherwise and avoid the dreaded breathalyzer. Take advantage of it. Be cool.

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