Field Sobriety Tests: A DUI Investigation Tool

Police often times utilize field sobriety tests (FST) in the course of DUI stops to gauge whether a driver is intoxicated or not. FST are roadside tests intended for assessing a driver’s mental and physical capacities. In principle, the impacts of alcohol will make an intoxicated driver perform more inefficiently on these tests than a sober driver.

An officer’s choice of whether to arrest a suspect for driving impaired regularly relies upon how well the driver does on an FST.

Three “Standardized” FSTs

As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supported research, the following FSTs are precise pointers of when a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08% or more:

  • horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN)
  • walk and turn, and
  • one-leg stand.

These three tests are usually called the “standardized “FSTs or the FST “battery.” While directing a DUI inquiry, an officer may request that a suspect finish one, two, or all of the three of the standardized FSTs. In any case, the NHTSA’s examinations demonstrated that officers were more effective at recognizing impairments when they used every one of the three tests.

Officers are required to learn and prepare how to give the standardized FSTs as per NHTSA regulations. At these training sessions, officers  take in the methodology for managing these tests and the “signs” of impairments to search for.

FSTs are scored by the quantity of pieces of information the officer witnesses: a specific number of signs adds up to an unsuccessful test. For example, a driver comes up short the HGN test if the officer sees at least four signs.

Despite the fact that FSTs are utilized essentially by police to decide if there’s reasonable justification for a DUI aresst, prosecutors sometimes use poor FST gathering to demonstrate an impedance DUI accusation at trial. Most states permit officers to affirm in court about perceptions they made while giving these tests.

Non-Standardized FSTs

Several non-standardized FSTs which are not stated by the NHTSA, but used by officers usually during DUI investigations. For instance, an officer may ask a driver to:

  • recite a document
  • count numbers in reverse
  • count while tapping the thumb to each finger in progression, or
  • perform the Rhomberg adjust test.

In spite of the fact that police regularly utilize non-standardized sanctioned tests to decide if a suspect is impaired, there’s no NHTSA inquire about affirming these tests as solid indicators of intoxication. With no demonstrated connection among impairments and test execution, courts may be less well-suited to acknowledge the aftereffects of non-standardized as proof of a driver’s impairments. A few courts may even restrict officers from affirming in court about perceptions they made during one of these unproven FSTs.

Consult With an Attorney

On the off chance that you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact DUI lawyer immediately. DUI laws differ state to state. A Local DUI attorney can discuss all options available to you about the laws in your state, determining whether you have a defense and to clarify any procedures needed.

If any of this happens to you, contact Dominic Saraceno and allow him to work for your rights.