Field Sobriety Tests (FST) are voluntary tests of coordination given at the scene of the traffic stop when an officer suspects driver impairment. Although they are voluntary, do not expect a police officer to inform you of this. Despite the debate over the validity of these tests, they continue to be administered while the arguments continue to rage on both sides.
There are three main types of standardized field sobriety tests according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The only standardized tests that have been shown to have some relevance in establishing legal intoxication are:
The walk and turn test and the one leg stand test are divided attention tests which test to see whether the individual can do two things at once. If they cannot keep their balance and follow directions, it is an indication that they are under the influence of alcohol.
In Ohio, only the three standardized tests listed above can be admitted into evidence and only if they were administered objectively and scored according to standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you have concerns about your field sobriety test results, contact an experienced Dayton DUI lawyer from Gounaris Abboud, LPA for expert help in determining if they were lawfully administered and scored correctly.
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The debate continues about whether or not field sobriety tests indicate anything of value to the court. Under laboratory conditions the three standard tests were only able to predict blood alcohol content above 0.10% in 2/3rds to ¾ of the cases tested. Another test challenged law enforcement personnel's ability to accurately perceive impairment. Perfectly sober "suspects" were given a battery of FSTs and 46% of them were adjudicated by trained and seasoned officers as too drunk to drive. Objective tests such as these cast doubt as to whether FST can be relied upon in a court of law.
Because they are used to provide evidence and justification for additional screening their administration should be closely examined as they are notoriously inaccurate. Field sobriety test results can and should be challenged by the best DUI/OVI lawyer in Dayton when improperly, inconsistently, or inaccurately done to the detriment of those charged with DUI offenses that carry harsh and unfair penalties.
Contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA today for the help that you need.