There are strong indications that the standard field sobriety tests currently in use are not a reliable indicator of a driver's degree of impairment. In the paragraphs that follow, a Walnut Creek DUI attorney looks at some of these.
“Not A Single Study”
The above quotation comes from scientists who agree that there is absolutely no concrete scientific evidence that supports the SFST, or Standardized Field Sobriety Test, as a dependable measure of a driver's ability to function at the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.
DOT and NHTSA
According to both the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is nothing to support the reliability of these tests. Instead they maintain just the opposite:
“Driving a motor vehicle is a very complex activity that involves a wide variety of tasks and operator capabilities. It is unlikely that complex human performance, such as that required to safely drive an automobile, can be measured at roadside.”
To quote yet another research project, “even valid, behavioral tests are likely to be poor predictors either of actual behind-the-wheel driving.”
The Nystagmus Test
It is indicated in the California Highway Patrol Manual that the horizontal gaze nystagmus test is not considered a psychophysical examination. This indicates that there is some degree of concurrence with the above criticisms of field sobriety tests among law enforcement agencies. HGN, at least, can exhibit behaviors that do not necessarily indicate that the driver was impaired due to alcohol consumption.
Seek the Advice of Your Walnut Creek DUI Lawyer
If you need advice, assistance or representation in a DUI case, don't hesitate to contact your Walnut Creek DUI attorney, Blackie Burak, at 1-866-BLCKDUI or (925) 933-4500 today.