Roadside Test Law and Legal Definition

A roadside test is a preliminary test law enforcement officers use on a suspected drunk driver at the scene when the driver has been pulled over. Essentially it is a test of equilibrium, reflexes and mental acuity, where the driver is asked to stand on one foot and then the other, walk a straight line, touch one's nose with the forefinger of each hand, say the alphabet backwards or count by twos.

If the officer decides the driver is drunk, he/she will inform the driver he/she is being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, read the Miranda rights, arrest the driver and transport him/her to a nearby police facility, where the suspect is asked to submit to an alcohol blood test. If the driver refuses the blood alcohol test, the officer may testify in court on the roadside test results as proof of drunkenness if there is a trial of the accused. The roadside test may provide crucial evidence of the driver's condition indicating an inability to drive safely when the alcohol level is below the legally drunk level, but the driver is impaired by drug use.