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What do field sobriety tests show?

If you have been stopped by a police officer or other law enforcement officer while driving and subsequently questioned regarding your potential or suspected intoxication while driving, you may have been asked to perform a variety of tests. If you were ultimately arrested and charged with a driving while intoxicated offense, you will want to understand exactly what these tests were meant to evaluate.

Many people might assume that all tests used in a drunk driving investigation are intended to prove or otherwise show that a driver is impaired. However, as FieldSobrietyTests.org indicates, that is not the case for the non-chemical tests that are administered. There are three tests standardized and approved for use in a suspected drunk driving case by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of these measures an involuntary motion of the eyeball, another requires a person to balance on one leg while counting and the third involves a person walking along a real or imaginary line.

The purpose of these test is only to provide an officer with enough evidence to indicate that a driver might be drunk. This allows the officer to legally arrest that person. It is only by a chemical test measuring breath, blood or urine that intoxication may be proven.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Texas residents an overview of the tests used in drunk driving investigations and what they are truly able to show and how they are used by prosecutors.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

Phone: 713-752-2728 | Fax: 713-650-1602
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