Your Voice In Life's Uncertain Times

Are field sobriety tests really accurate?

| Jun 20, 2017 | Criminal Defense |

People in Wisconsin may find it helpful to understand what may transpire during a traffic stop that turns into a potential investigation for suspected driving under the influence. There may be a few different tests that law enforcment officers ask you to participate in before they decide whether or not to place you under arrests. These are called field sobriety tests. It is important for you to know that these tests are not 100-percent accurate.

In fact, FieldSobrietyTests.org indicates that even when all three of the tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are used, the accuracy rate will be only 82 percent. Of the three tests, the one that tracks an involuntary motion of the eyeball is the most accurate on its own at 77 percent. However, things like neurological or eye conditions may interfere with the accuracy of this test.

On their own, the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test have accuracy rates of 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively. People who have more than 50 pounds of excess body weight or medical problems with their ears, feet, back and legs may struggle with being able to successfully pass these tests. Persons who have mental or physical disabilities may also be unable to properly perform these tests even with no alcohol in their systems.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to help give drivers in Wisconsin an idea of the issues that may interfere with a person’s ability to successfully pass a field sobriety test.