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How accurate are field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | DUI charges

A DUI conviction is a serious matter that can have consequences that last a lifetime. Despite how detrimental these charges can be, the methods of convicting a driver are not as accurate as you may expect. Field sobriety tests are a staple method of testing sobriety in DUI traffic stops, but according to, they may not be as accurate as you would want them to be.

The accuracy of the three standard field sobriety tests

The outcome of the roadside tests can influence an officer’s bias toward a driver and even how they treat them. When the tests that police officers’ issue can be so influential, the following accuracy rates can be alarming:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (eyes following a moving finger)- 77% accurate
  • The walk and turn (walking heel to toe in a straight line) – 68% accurate
  • Standing on one leg and balancing – 65% accurate

When some of these results would not qualify as a passing grade in school, why are police using them in traffic stops?

How these tests may be your advantage

When police use less than reliable testing methods during a traffic stop, you may be able to use that to your advantage in your defense case. A skilled criminal defense attorney can argue that the methods the arresting officer used did not produce accurate results, and challenge the charges as a result.

It is possible to beat DUI charges, even when the evidence seems to be stacked against you. Let a lawyer fight for you to dismantle the charges you are facing to either reduce or eliminate the charges entirely.