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STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS IN VA

ANTHONY MONTAGNA, III

  • SPECIALIZING IN DUI CASES IN NORFOLK, VA
  • WINNING DUI CASES IN NORFOLK, VA FOR OVER 27 YEARS
  • KNOWN BY JUDGES AND CLERKS THROUGHOUT HAMPTON ROADS, VA
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  • 425 MONTICELLO AVENUE, SUITE A, NORFOLK, VA 23510
  • 757-625-3500

MONTAGNA KLEIN CAMDEN LLP

  • 175+ YEARS OF COMBINED LEGAL EXPERIENCE
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425 MONTICELLO AVENUE, SUITE A, NORFOLK, VA 23510

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I. THERE ARE THREE STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

  1. HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN): This test is used by officers to see impairment in individuals who do not have balance problems. It is different from the Walk and Turn and One-Leg Stand tests, which are divided attention tests. The HGN test looks for nystagmus or the involuntary jerking of the eyes. There are six standardized clues. However, there are many causes for magnification of nystagmus that is not alcohol based (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, influenza, epilepsy, glaucoma, , caffeine, and nicotine).
  2. WALK AND TURN TEST: This is a divided attention test, which requires a person to utilize memory and balance. In this test the person takes nine steps heel to toe on a line and while counting out loud, keeps his hands by his side, makes the proper turn, and again takes nine steps heel to toe on the line and while counting out loud. There are eight standardized clues of impairment.
  3. ONE-LEG STAND: This is a divided attention test, which requires a person to raise one leg, approximately six inches off the ground with toes pointed out, counting out loud, and for thirty seconds. This test has four standardized clues of impairment.

II. NON STANDARDIZED TESTS

  1. ALPHABET TEST: A person recites the alphabet without singing from one letter to another letter (e.g. A to K).
  2. TOUCH YOUR NOSE: A person stands with his head back and touches the tip of his index finger to tip of nose.
  3. FINGER COUNT TEST: A person touches his four fingers to thumb and counts 1, 2, 3, and 4. The person counts back on the fingers 4, 3, 2, and 1.
  4. NUMBER TEST: The person counts backwards from one number to another.