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Field sobriety test inaccuracy rates

If you have recently been arrested for suspected drunk driving in Virginia, you are likely scared and wondering how you can defend yourself and protect your rights. It can feel like you have no voice at these times but it is important to remember that you do. One thing that is important for you to do is to become educated about the various aspects of your case. This includes learning about the evidence used against you.

Before you were arrested, you were probably asked to take field sobriety tests. There are three such tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, despite this approval, none of the tests are completely accurate. According to, the accuracy rates of these tests range from 65% to 77%.

The least accurate test is the one that requires you to stand on one leg without losing your balance. You must also count out loud during this time. This test’s accuracy rate is only 65%. Anxiety, obesity, knee problems, back problems and more can all contribute to an inability to pass this test. The walk and turn test is said to be 68% accurate and may be impacted negatively by some of the same issues that affect the one leg test. The eye test is 77% accurate.

If you would like to learn more about the potential problems associated with the tests used during a drunk driving investigation and arrest, please feel free to visit the DUI defendant’s rights page of our Virginia drunk driving and criminal defense website.