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Field Sobriety Test

Are DUI Tests Designed to Fail?

Meta Title: Are DUI Tests Designed to Fail?
Meta Description: Our Dallas car accident attorney explains the history and pass rates of field sobriety tests.

Social Title: Are DUI Tests Designed to Fail?
Social Description: Between 33-55% of sober people fail these tests

Are DUI Tests Designed to Fail?

Every night in America, thousands of people are pulled over and asked to step out of their vehicles. It’s often cold, the ground is uneven, traffic is moving by at a blur, and then there’s the pressure of having an armed police officer watch your every move. Perhaps that’s why research shows DUI tests more often come down to luck than sobriety. Does that mean DUI tests are designed to fail?

Coin Flip Arrests

Over the past 50 years, there’s been extensive research into police sobriety tests. The results are baffling. On average, between 33% and 55% of sober people in a quiet auditorium will fail a sobriety test. Few tests are considered more difficult than the “walk and turn.”

Stop. Walk in a straight line, heel to toe, for nine steps. Turn. Keep your arms at your sides the whole time. Keep your eyes on your feet. Count each step aloud. Don’t stop or hesitate until you’re done. Count from one to nine in that order. Don’t move your feet from the line. When you turn, take an additional nine steps and return to the starting position.

Without reading all of that again, do you think you could do that? Would you even remember that you’re supposed to walk heel to toe? How about if you were told all of this on a busy highway in the middle of the night?

If not, you might be part of the 33% who fail this test while sober. Other tests are just as bad. The “one-leg stand” is inaccurate 35% of the time. Moreover, studies show that grading is completely subjective. Studies show that even when a sobriety test is completed perfectly on camera, officers have different opinions about whether or not the person is sober.

What Should You Do?

The best thing you can do is understand your rights. If an officer asks you to step out of the car, you must get out of the vehicle. However, you do not have to take field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests in Texas. It’s important to remember that they will not ask if you would submit to testing, they will demand you follow their instructions. You have the right to politely refuse.

If an officer arrests you because you refused one of these tests, remain calm and until you have an opportunity to request an attorney.

If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident, you might have a case! If you’d like an experienced Dallas DUI attorney from Law Offices of Robert Gregg to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (214) 891-7536.