What is the eye test for drunk driving?

If you are among the many people arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in Arizona, you should be working to educate yourself about your options for a good defense. It is important at this time to remember that a defense is your right. One area that may offer opportunities for you is any potential error made during the arrest process, including an inaccurate testing procedure or result.

FieldSobrietyTests.org explains that before ever placing a person under arrest for suspected drunk driving, a law enforcement officer may perform a series of tests. These are done at the scene at which a person is stopped. One of these is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. A nystagmus is a type of motion made by the eye. When a person is under the influence of alcohol or other types of substances, this motion may be more obvious or evident at times when it otherwise would not be.

Officers assess this motion by asking people to follow the movement of an object without any moving of their heads, only with their eyes. As the eyes get closer away from the center of the socket to the side, when and where the motion may appear may be used to indicate potential intoxication. This test has an accuracy rate of 77 percent.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Arizona residents an overview of one of the three standardized field sobriety tests used by law enforcement officers during a drunk driving arrest process.