Contesting the Field Sobriety Tests in Oklahoma
If you are ever pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) in Oklahoma, chances are the officer who stops you will ask you to take a series of field sobriety tests in order to evaluate your level of impairment. Your performance on these tests will help the officer decide whether you should be charged with DUI.
Standardized vs. Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Exercises
Field sobriety tests are designed to evaluate a driver’s mental and physical abilities by having him or her perform a series of seemingly simple exercises. Although officers use a variety of methods to conduct these tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved just three exercises—these are referred to as standardized field sobriety tests.
According to the NHTSA, the only field sobriety tests that can reliably judge a driver’s level of impairment are the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests—any other methods are considered unreliable. But despite these recommendations, many officers continue to use non-standardized field sobriety tests—and even when standardized tests are used, they are often administered incorrectly.
Scoring Your Performance
If is up to the officer to decide whether you “pass” or “fail” a field sobriety test,—there’s simply no objective way to evaluate your results. Unfortunately, the person judging you already suspects that you are impaired—a fact that was proven the moment the officer asked you to perform a field sobriety test.
In light of their subjectivity, field sobriety tests can often be challenged in DUI court—and many drivers are happy to learn that their results cannot be used against them as evidence.
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