The Unreliability of Field Sobriety Tests
The name “field sobriety test” is a misnomer for the walk and turn, horizontal gaze nystagmus, and one leg stand maneuvers. The word “test” implies that there is some scientific and calculable element to these proceedings, but this is simply not the case with field sobriety tests. In fact, many scientists in the United States refuse to categorize them as scientific tests, as they are entirely subject to the conditions in which they are performed and the subjectivity of the observer.
An experienced lawyer understands the unreliability of field sobriety tests and can help you if you have been charged with DWI as a result of a flawed field sobriety test. A San Antonio DWI attorney of the Law Offices of Chris S. Barnett is prepared to help you fight your DWI charges. Call our offices today at 210-587-6464 for more information.
Statistics Regarding Field Sobriety Test Flaws
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, or NHTSA, began studies on the validity of the official field sobriety tests in the 1980s. They analyzed three different test methods, and the results are as follows:
- Using the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, 23% of sober participants were wrongfully declared over the legal limit.
- With the walk and turn test, 32% of sober subjects failed.
- In the one leg stand test, an incredible 35% of sober participants were wrongly accused of being unfit to drive.
Additionally, it is important to note that these results were found in controlled environments such as indoors and in well-lit areas. This means that the tests may be even more unreliable in compromised conditions such as windy weather or wet, slippery roads.
If you are facing DWI charges after taking a field sobriety test, a tenacious San Antonio DWI lawyer of the Law Offices of Chris S. Barnett is dedicated to giving you the strongest defense possible. Contact our offices today at 210-587-6464 to discuss your case with us.