DWI / DUI field sobriety tests usually involve balance and coordination, which many of us do not have under normal circumstances.However, the circumstances during a DWI / DUI investigation are often so stressful and distracting that it is nearly impossible to complete any field sobriety tests. The results of these tests should deserve little merit.Unfortunately, these results are allowed to be brought into court by prosecutors as evidence of intoxication.
Some of these field sobriety tests have no standards of administration that police follow. Tests, such as the alphabet recitation test, finger-to-nose test, finger-touch test, and sway test, have no known measure of validity. Tests, referred to as “standardized field sobriety tests,” have been studied and issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as the so-called gold standard for DWI / DUI field sobriety testing. NHTSA requires that specific rules must be followed in order for the results of these field sobriety tests to be reliable.
There are only three standardized field sobriety tests – one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus (an eye test referred to as HGN). In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the courts have determined that the results of the HGN test cannot be used as evidence.Furthermore, government sponsored studies claim that, the one-leg stand field sobriety test is only 65% accurate when deciding if someone should be arrested for drunk driving. That means the police are wrong 35% of the time when using this test. The walk-and-turn field sobriety test is only 68% accurate. That means the police are wrong 32% of the time when using this test.
Moreover, there are factors that further compromise the validity of these field sobriety tests.Certain medical conditions and physical injuries will render these so-called DWI / DUI tests invalid.If a person is 50 pounds overweight or is 65 years or older, then the results of the these DWI / DUI tests are invalid.
It is important that your attorney knows the standards that should have been used by the investigating police officer when administering these field sobriety tests. Attorney Kevin Leckerman has been certified by both NHTSA and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to administer DWI / DUI standardized field sobriety tests.