1.  Cannot keep balance while listening to the instructions.  (The suspect must balance heel-to-toe on the line and at the same time listen to the instructions.  The clue is recorded if the suspect does not maintain the heel-to-toe position throughout the instructions.  The feet must actually break apart.  The clue is not recorded if the suspect sways or uses the arms to balance but maintains the heel-to-toe position.)

2.  Starts before the instructions are finished.

3.  Stops while walking.  (Pausing for several seconds would qualify as stopping. The clue is not recorded if the suspect merely walks slowly.)

4.  Does not touch heel-to-toe.  (This is defined as leaving a space of more than one-half inch between the heel and toe on any step.)

5.  Steps off the line.  (The step needs to be entirely off the line.)

6.  Uses arms for balance.  (The suspect raises one or both arms more than 6 inches from the sides in order to maintain balance.)

7.  Improper turn.  (This is defined as removing the front foot from the line while turning.  The clue is also recorded if the suspect has not followed directions as demonstrated, e.g., he spins or pivots around.)

8.  Incorrect number of steps.  This clue is recorded if the suspect takes more or fewer than nine steps in either direction.


1.  Place your left foot on the line (real or imaginary).  Demonstrate.

2.  Place your right foot on the line ahead of the left foot, with heel of right foot against toe of left foot. Demonstrate.

3.  Place your arms down at your sides. Demonstrate.

4.  Maintain this position until I have completed the instructions.  Do not start to walk until told to do so.

5.  Do you understand the instructions so far? Make sure suspect indicates understanding.

6.  When I tell you to start, take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn, and take nine heel-to-toe steps back. Demonstrate 3 heel-to-toe steps.

7.  When you turn, keep the front foot on the line, and turn by taking a series of small steps with the other foot, like this. Demonstrate.

8.  While you are walking, keep your arms at your sides, watch your feet at all times, and count your steps out loud.

9.  Once you start walking, don’t stop until you have completed the test.

10.  Do you understand the instructions? Make sure suspect understands.

11.  Begin, and count your first step from the heel-to-toe position as “One.”

For more general information on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, please click here.