Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by Umer Mukhtar
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a punishable offense anywhere around the world. The police officers’ conduct field sobriety tests on suspected drivers to initiate the arrest. The field sobriety tests are also known as standardized field sobriety tests. The field sobriety test results can be used as evidence in the DUI (Driving under Intoxication) cases.
There are generally three fields of the Standardised field sobriety test; the videos are easily available on the internet if you want to have a much more clear idea. But generally, the field sobriety test includes an eye test, walk and turn test and the one-leg stand.
a. Eye test: In this test, the driver has to follow an object with their eyes that the officer moves horizontally, a foot away from the face of the driver. Related videos are available on the internet.
b. Walk and turn test: The driver in this part of the standardized field sobriety test must walk nine steps forward in a straight line, then turn and again walk back the same distance in the same line.
c. One-leg stand: The officer makes the suspected driver stand on one leg and ask them to raise the other by about six inches from the ground and hold that position, staying like that for about thirty seconds.
The methods mentioned above or tests are part of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test Video, and if someone fails the test, then they proceed towards the next set of tests, like the alcohol breath analyzer or ABA test, the drug test. First of all, if the driver passes the field sobriety test and or the breathalyzer test, then they will only be punished or penalized for the offense for which he was pulled over in the first place; that is the traffic rule he broke.
For whom Standardized Field Sobriety Test is?
The driver will have proceeded to the Breathalyzer test if he fails the field sobriety test. If they fail the breathalyzer test as well, they will be condemned to jail, and not only that, their vehicle will be impounded as well. If the driver refuses to take the test, then the driver can get their driver’s license revoked and confiscated in addition to other traffic penalties. If the driver passes the field sobriety test or the ABA test, then they do not have to take up the drug screening test further. Video demonstrations of all the mentioned sobriety tests, ABA test, and others are easily available for people’s better understanding.
There are training courses for the standardized field sobriety tests that include introduction and overview, vehicle in motion and personal contact, standardized field sobriety testing review, proficiency, and written examination, processing the arrested accused and preparation for trial, overcoming impaired driving defense and legal issues, live alcohol workshop, overview drug-impaired driving. The training is held in several sessions like the above-mentioned topics are divided into different segments or sessions. Similarly, session three of the training includes a standardized field sobriety testing review, which is conducted or explained via short videos. These videos include horizontal gaze nystagmus, then walk and turn, and one-leg stand tests embedded with PowerPoint presentations.
The training also includes an optional session known as the video alcohol workshop. In this session, participants are shown NHTSA/IACP approved videos especially designated for Session IX Ain the present DWI Detection and Standardised Field Sobriety Testing Curriculum. The participants will watch the videos, assess the subjects their impairment, and finally record their observations. The final part of this optional session is called ‘Session wrap-up’; in this final segment, the participants will have to report their assessments of their respective video subjects and will be informed of the subjects’ BACs. This optional session is different from the present DWI Detection and Standardised Field Sobriety Testing curriculum Session 11A as it does not require the participant to practice during the ongoing session.
Now comes the question of the accuracy of the Standardised Field Sobriety Test; according to research, the standardizing of the test produced a 77 percent accuracy rate in horizontal gaze nystagmus or eye test. Then the walk and turn had a 68 percent accuracy rate, and last but not least, the one-leg stand had a 65 percent accuracy rate overall the tests were 82 percent correct.