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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Posted on:12/2/2011
In 1975 when the NHTSA wanted to develop a system of tests to determine if a driver is under the influence, sixteen tests were initially considered and out of the sixteen, six were selected for a detailed and evaluative study.


 

 

In 1975 when the NHTSA wanted to develop a system of tests to determine if a driver is under the influence, sixteen tests were initially considered and out of the sixteen, six were selected for a detailed and evaluative study. These six tests included the finger count, finger to nose, walk and turn, one leg stand, tracing and horizontal gaze nystagmus. After a detailed and evaluative study, the NHTSA zeroed in on three tests – one leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus and walk and turn. These three tests are known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

 

The police officer conducting the test may inform you that these tests are very accurate. However there is no scientific basis for this. The results of these tests cannot be conclusive evidence of DUI. The results of these tests can be challenged in the court on various grounds.

 

The standardized field sobriety tests were designed with the average driver in mind. It does not take into consideration the physical or health aspects of the driver. Nor does it take into consideration the weather and road conditions. All these factors can affect a person’s ability to perform these tests.

 

There is no written formula for determining what should be considered as a pass and what should be considered as a fail. It is the officer who is administering the tests who decides what is a pass and what is a fail.

 


  
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