Field Sobriety Test information:
A field sobriety test isn't designed to objectively determine a person's alcohol impairment; the fact that the bizarre set of motions requested by the police officer happen on the side of the road and under abnormal conditions makes the test questionable.
The real purpose of the test is so that the police can collect evidence that can serve to convict you. This procedure is highly subjective, and it is based on negative scoring: you can only lose points. Even if you perform an action flawlessly, the officer can consider it a failure for it being performed too slowly.
Orange County law enforcement officers continue to use these field tests, even after exhaustive federal studies have demonstrated their ineffectiveness. These field sobriety tests are neither scientific nor reliable, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not approved the manner in which they are conducted. The list of tests includes:
A sufficient examination of the test being performed can easily show how ineffectual the exercises; the overwhelming preponderance of data shows that the standard field sobriety tests are not good indicators of alcohol-induced driver impairment.
As further evidence against the value of field sobriety tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hired scientist Marceline Burns to evaluate the tests. She determined that they are unreliable unless performed within the bounds of standardized testing procedures.
Moreover, a recent study was published that examined 100 video examples of officers conducting the "follow the pen" test. The study showed the every officer in every example did not perform the procedure properly. Even with training manuals, the evidence suggests that the majority of officers lack the knowledge and skill to effectively administer the tests.
Prosecutors have been known to invoke an "aura of science" in order to bolster their claims during a trial. These methods often involve field sobriety tests, and an experienced DUI trial lawyer will be able to identify the tactic and limit the prosecutor's ability to overstate the value of the test.
10 Ways To Discredit Field Sobriety Tests
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