What Are the Field Sobriety Tests?

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a short series of “tests” (not the written kind!) which NHTSA claims can determine the probability of intoxication. Law enforcement agencies have utilized the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) to develop probable cause for arrest and as evidence to be used in the prosecution for drunk driving. Keep in mind, these so-called accurate indicators of alcohol intoxication must be administered in a standardized manner and, even then, can be quite inaccurate. For example, when you take your drivers test, how important is it that you can estimate thirty seconds while standing on one leg? Yet, police officers are trained to rely on SFSTs. Anytime an officer makes a mistake administering a SFST, an innocent person may be arrested and convicted. We don’t like this!