Law Office of Ronald A. Cabanayan
Law Office of
Ronald A. Cabanayan

DUI ~ Criminal Defense ~ Immigration/Naturalization

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How accurate are field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2021 | DUI Defense

If you are stopped and accused of driving while drunk or impaired, you may be asked to perform field sobriety tests. You have a right to refuse to take a field sobriety test, but if you go ahead and take it, you still have the potential to defend against their findings afterward. 

Field sobriety tests are largely subjective. As a result, you could be completely sober but find yourself under arrest for a DUI due to failing them. Here’s what you should know.

Field sobriety test accuracy isn’t 100%

No field sobriety test is 100% accurate. When the three main tests are combined, they are around 82% accurate, but that means that about 18 out of every 100 people will be accused of drunk driving or of being impaired when they weren’t.

Interestingly, scientists argue against these tests because they say that despite the tests being accurate around 82% of the time when combined, that accuracy level only proves that someone has alcohol in their system or that they have a condition that impacts the validity of the test, like vertigo or a neurological issue. The tests may not accurately reflect a person’s ability to drive a car safely.

You can challenge field sobriety test results

You can challenge the results of any test you’re given by the police. If you take field sobriety tests, it’s reasonable to question their accuracy if fighting a criminal charge.

Field sobriety tests are often used along with Breathalyzer tests to prove impairment, but none of these tests are perfect. You have the right to seek support in defending yourself against these charges. Doing so could help you avoid a conviction.