Field Sobriety Tests - 3 Things You Didn't Know

Posted By Tomeo Sills, LLC || 8-Jan-2018

Field sobriety tests are used to determine if a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. However, criticism has risen against their use and effectiveness, and many people are not aware of the facts behind these tests. Even a simple mistake while taking one may lead to an accusation of drunk driving.

If you are pulled over and instructed to complete a field sobriety test, there are 3 things you need to know:

  1. You can refuse. Contrary to what many people believe, field sobriety tests are optional. This means you can legally refuse to participate without facing any criminal or administrative penalties. However, chemical tests, such as blood tests, are mandatory. Refusal to take a chemical test may result in driver’s license suspension and other penalties.
  2. The tests are not accurate. Field sobriety tests are known to be inaccurate. Human error, environmental factors, police officer bias, nervousness, and other aspects may decrease the accuracy of these tests. In fact, studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found the tests to be extremely inaccurate, with the gaze nystagmus test only 77% successful (meaning about 1 in 5 tests were faulty).
  3. Only 3 tests are approved. While there are several field sobriety testing procedures, such as reciting the alphabet or putting your finger to your nose in a specific pattern, only 3 tests are actually standardized and approved by the NHTSA. These are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg-stand test. If the officer asks you to do random procedures that are not standardized, these may be extremely inaccurate.

Connecticut DUI Lawyers with 45 Years of Collective Experience

If you have been pulled over and arrested for a DUI, Tomeo Sills, LLC can provide diligent representation. We stay up to date on federal and state traffic laws, and will thoroughly investigate your arrest to determine the facts. If your rights were violated, or the officer conducted an unstandardized field sobriety test, our Connecticut DUI attorneys can fight on your behalf.

For efficient representation, contact us today. We offer free consultations for your convenience.

Categories: DUI
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