People who live in Michigan may have often heard or read about the tests a driver may be asked to take by a law enforcement officer if the driver is suspected of being impaired. These field sobriety tests may be some of the most misunderstood elements of any drunk driving arrest process. Anyone who has been charged with a driving under the influence offense should understand these tests.
As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, these tests are not able to prove that a person was intoxicated. In fact, they are not even intended to do so. Instead, field sobriety tests have been designed and are implemented simply to support the possibility that a driver was impaired. It is based on the potential for impairment that a police officer may be able to legally place the driver under arrest and charge them with suspected DUI.
Also important to understand is the fact that none of the field sobriety tests are completely accurate, despite being standardized and approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many physical, mental or emotional health conditions may contribute to inaccuracies in these tests. For example, a person who has anxiety or who has knee problems may not be able to balance well enough to pass one or more of the tests. Accuracy rates for these tests range from 65% to 77%.
If you would like to learn more about the elements involved in a drunk driving investigation and arrest, and how you can protect yourself against these charges, please feel free to visit the field sobriety testing page of our Michigan criminal defense website.