Are field sobriety tests accurate?

Like most drivers in Pennsylvania, you have probably heard of field sobriety tests. These are checks done by law enforcement officers to help them evaluate the potential that you may be intoxicated while driving. Although they are commonly used, one cannot help but wonder how accurate are these field sobriety tests?

Statistics provided by the DUI Foundation indicate that the accuracy rates of the three different tests range from 65 percent to 77 percent. That means there are times when field sobriety tests may not yield true information. According to NBC 29, even drivers who have had nothing at all to drink have reported challenges with passing field sobriety tests.

Imagine that you have a problem with one of your hips or knees and you are asked to stand on one leg without losing your balance. Could you do that? You might understandably have a problem doing so. What if you have a newborn and have not had a full night of sleep in some time? Being able to could aloud while walking in a perfect heel-to-toe formation without faltering in the dark could be a challenge. Remember also that if you have been asked to take field sobriety tests, you are probably going to be very nervous and scared which can also affect your ability to pass these tests.

One of the field sobriety tests checks for an involuntary movement of your eye and this is something you are unlikely to be able to control. This test has the highest accuracy rate of all three. The other two tests are even more subjective and could be more impacted by external factors. This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about field sobriety tests that are used by officers in Pennsylvania.

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