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Accuracy of field sobriety tests

If you are wondering about how officers determine a driver's intoxication level during a drunk driving arrest process in California, you are not alone. In fact, because enjoying a beer or glass of wine is so common at social gatherings, anyone who has even one beverage and then drives home should understand these things.

If you have been stopped by a law enforcement officer and that officer begins to suspect you may have consumed alcohol, they may ask you to participate in some tests right there where they have stopped you. As indicates, these tests are not used to determine whether or not you are legally intoxicated. In fact, they are not even able to determine that. What they are used for is to gather enough evidence to support arresting you by showing that you might possibly be intoxicated.

Of the three tests approved and standardized for use in these circumstances, none are fully accurate. Even if an officer has you take all three tests, the combined accuracy rating is only 82 percent. Individually each test's accuracy rate varies from 65 percent to 77 percent. Many things may hinder your ability to successfully pass a field sobriety tests such as medical conditions, physical limitations or disabilities and even your general nervousness as balancing on one leg can be much harder when you are anxious than when you are relaxed.

If you would like to learn more about field sobriety tests or other methods of testing used during a potential drunk driving investigation, please feel free to visit the driving under the influence page of our California criminal defense website.

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