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Field sobriety tests not 100 percent accurate

If you are one of the Rhode Island drivers who have been arrested for and charged with a driving under the influence offense, you understandably want to learn about your options for a defense. Many people may assume that the tests used by police officers, sheriffs or other law enforcement officials are bullet proof. However, this is not true. As explained by, the three field sobriety tests used at the location of a drunk driving arrest stop each have different accuracy levels but none are 100-percent accurate.

Of the three standardized tests used, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test is the most accurate but even then it is said to be accurate only 77 percent of the time. This test measures the eyeball's involuntary twitching response to light. The response may be more pronounced after a person has consumed alcohol.

The test with the next highest level of accuracy is the walk and turn test. In this test, drivers are required to walk in a straight line keeping the front heel touching the rear toe while counting. This test is said to be 68-percent accurate. The one-leg test that evaluates a person's ability to balance on one leg is only 65-percent accurate. When all three tests are used, the overall rate of accuracy is said to be 82 percent.

If you would like to learn more about the tests used by law enforcement during a drunk driving arrest process, please feel free to visit the impaired driving testing page of our Rhode Island criminal defense website.

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