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Field sobriety test accuracy rates

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2018 | Criminal Defense/dui |

While advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving appropriately raise awareness about the risks of driving when drunk, they have also contributed to the creation of a strong and inaccurate stereotype about the people charged with driving under the influence offenses. Many people in Kentucky who are arrested for DUI charges are very responsible citizens. In addition, not every one of them is actually guilty of the crime they are charged with.

One potential issue with a drunk driving case may well be the accuracy, or the lack thereof, of the results of tests conducted prior to a person being placed under arrest. As explained by, the standard field sobriety tests used are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are designed to give law enforcement officers enough evidence to justify arresting the driver. They cannot prove that a person is intoxicated.

None of the three field tests are fully accurate. The most accurate test measures a jerking motion of the eyeball and is said to be 77-percent accurate. The walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test have accuracy rates of 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Even when all three tests are administered, their collective accuracy rate is only 82 percent. 

If you would like to learn more about the type of evidence that may be collected and presented against you in a driving under the influence case, please feel free to visit the field sobriety test accuracy page of our Kentucky drunk driving and criminal defense website.