This info graphic describes the science behind the standardized field sobriety tests (spoiler alert: There isn’t much). Field Sobriety Tests are commonly known as the roadside activities that police officers ask drivers to perform if the officer suspects that the driver is impaired by alcohol or another impairing substance. We call them “stupid human tricks.” Contrary to popular understanding and belief, many of these tests have little basis in science, and the ones that do are frequently performed incorrectly.
You are also subjected to a great variance in the officer’s understanding of the tests and his or her ability to competently administer the standardized field sobriety tests. Some officers have not been trained in the administration of the field sobriety tests, some have not been updated since they took the course at the police academy and others simply do not know how to administer standardized field sobriety tests in a manner that would make them indicative of impairment. In the hands of a well-trained professional, these tests can act as a rudimentary screen for impairment. In other hands they can give a false veneer of science to a bad arrest.The National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration’s roadside sobriety assessments were developed based on a 1977 study. The subjects of this study had blood alcohol content levels ranging from zero to .15 percent. Though there was such a large different between the test subjects, there was a 47 percent error rate in determining a person’s impairment after administering thestandardized field sobriety tests. 47%!This means that almost half of the people were misidentified by police officers as being drunk when in fact they were not. What is worse, one of the researchers agreed that the tests are problematic because there is no correlation between a person’s ability to perform a”stupid human trick” like the standardized field sobriety tests battery: One Leg Stand, Walk & Turn, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and a person’s ability to operate a vehicle. Despite the scientific flaws with the tests, they are used throughout Ohio to establish probable cause for an arrest.
Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”
Find information on standardized field sobriety tests and other city-specific info at the following links: