Are Field Sobriety Tests Accurate?

a police officer conducting a sobriety test

One of the most popular methods that police officers use to identify an intoxicated driver is to apply the field sobriety test. The results of a field sobriety test can ultimately result in a DUI arrest. If you failed the sobriety test and you are now facing DUI charges, you need to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our Orange County DUI defense attorneys explain whether field sobriety tests are accurate.

How Accurate Are Field Sobriety Tests?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Southern California Research Institute (SCRI) have evaluated dozens of field sobriety tests to determine if they were accurate. Their research concluded that the officer's error rate for determining the BAC level was 47 percent. This means that nearly half of field sobriety tests were inaccurate. They have tried to reduce the error rate by only applying test methods with the highest accuracy rate, but it still leaves room for significant errors.

Scientists also argue that field sobriety tests are not a scientifically proven method to base a DUI charge. Other conditions can lead to someone failing a field sobriety test, making the tests inaccurate.

Below are common conditions that can contribute to a failed sobriety test:

  • Inner ear problems or poor balance
  • Obesity or old age
  • Mental impairments
  • Speech impediments
  • Fatigue or anxiety

Experienced Orange County DUI Defense Attorneys

If you are facing DUI charges because you failed your sobriety test, an experienced attorney may be able to demonstrate that an error was committed. Our Orange County DUI defense lawyers have vast experience helping those accused of DUI charges. Attorney Virginia Landry is one of only five attorneys in California to hold this distinction. If you've been charged with DUI, put us in your corner.

Contact our Orange County DUI defense lawyers today at (949) 537-2202 to schedule a consultation!

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