Saturday, June 18, 2011

Are Field Sobriety Tests Accurate?

This is an age old question that many pundits frequently raise within the context of arguments for and against DUI enforcement.  The answer to this question can perhaps best be found within the scientific literature that encompasses the area of drunk driving research.  In one study the researchers found that field sobriety tests are only accurate in predicting impairment relative to driving under the influence, about 70 percent of the time.  This statistic takes into account the fact that the participants in the study performed the tests under ideal conditions and they were conducted in accordance with well established federal standards pertaining to sobriety testing protocols.  Other research sheds light on many of the frailties common to the most frequently performed FST's.  At the end of the day most all that are involved in the legal community will agree that this component of drunk driving enforcement is prone to many weaknesses but it is but one factor to be utilized in the arrest and investigation of driving while intoxicated cases.