How much does perception affect field sobriety tests?
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How much does perception affect field sobriety tests?

| Nov 18, 2020 | DWI

When an officer gives you a field sobriety test, you may think that there are highly specific standards that must be met in order for you to be arrested. However, the reality is that these tests are subjective. The officer’s perception of you and how you’re acting, how you were driving and even how you look could influence if you’re arrested or not.

Field sobriety tests are subjective, and the officer’s opinion can be affected by how you were driving before the traffic stop. For example, following others too closely, straddling the centerline or responding to traffic signals slowly were all visual clues that officers used to identify drivers who may be impaired behind the wheel, according to a study  from the Touro College & University System.

Can you be arrested even when you pass field sobriety tests?

Even if you do well on the field sobriety tests, there is still a chance that the officer could say that you didn’t do well enough or that you failed one badly enough to be arrested and taken into custody. They could claim that they have other evidence, or they may use a combination of visual cues as well as flimsy evidence from your field sobriety tests to claim you’re impaired when you’re not.

The reality is that these tests can work when they’re correctly and by someone who is trained appropriately. However, many people judging those tests come up with different conclusions for the same defendant, even when that training was taken.

Your attorney will fight on your side to defend you against allegations of driving drunk. Field sobriety tests aren’t foolproof, and you deserve to be heard if the tests falsely determined that you were impaired.