Field Sobriety Tests Can Be Unreliable
If you pulled over by the police under suspicion of DUI, you may be instructed to perform a field sobriety test. Most people are aware of these tests and think they are reliable tests of intoxication, but in truth, they are not. A Sacramento DUI defense attorney can help you understand why.
At least one group of scientists has said that there is no study that links the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to driving impairment. In addition, neither the U.S. Department of Transportation nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that the use of standardized field sobriety tests provides actual direct indicators of driving impairment. On the contrary, they specifically state that operating a motor vehicle is complex and involves many tasks and operations, and it is unlikely that complex human performance of this kind can be accurately measured at roadside.
One study even said, “Even valid behavioral tests are likely to be poor predictors of actual behind-the-wheel driving.”
Some police agencies agree that some of the standardized field sobriety tests are not reliably accurate ways to measure driving impairment, especially in the case of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. The California Highway Patrol considers the horizontal gaze nystagmus test to not be a psychophysical test and that the indicators associated with this test are not considered accurate signs of impairment.
If you have further questions about the validity of field sobriety tests, contact Sacramento DUI defense attorney Param Pabla for an initial consultation.