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Understanding field sobriety tests

If you are ever stopped by police for even a routine traffic stop and the officer for some reason suspects that you may be under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked a series of questions. You may also be asked to take what are called field sobriety tests. Understanding what these are and what they might show will be important to you at such a time.

According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, the three standardized tests used by officers during a drunk driving investigation and arrest are sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unlike a chemical breath or blood test, however, field sobriety tests cannot be used to determine a specific blood alcohol content. What these tests are intended to do is to provide enough evidence to support an officer's decision to place you under arrest for suspected drunk driving.

Two of the tests have accuracy rates lower than 70 percent as the one-leg stand test has a 65-percent accuracy rate and the walk-and-turn test has a 66-percent accuracy rate. The eye test is said to be 77-percent accurate. The first two tests assess your balance and ability to execute multiple tasks simultaneously while the eye test evaluates a naturally occurring movement of your eyes that may become more pronounced after you have consumed alcohol.

If you would like to learn more about the processes and procedures involved in a drunk driving arrest and defense, please feel free to visit the impaired driving charges page of our Tennessee criminal defense website.

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