Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer: Roadside Tests

Every Friday we take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Pennsylvania DUI so we can clear up any misconceptions and provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information about Pennsylvania DUI laws and related topics. Today:

Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer,

I was pulled over in Berks County and the officer asked to perform some tests like walking a straight line, standing on one leg and following his finger with my eyes.  I thought I did well on them but he booked me anyways.  What should I do?

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) are a series of tests used by officers to evaluate those they suspect of DUI.  Most, if not all of the police out there believe that it was intended to “record” impairment when the creators of the test clearly say this is not so.  It is at best a screening tool used to determine the likelihood that someone may be above 0.10 or 0.08 BAC.  There is no real validated and robust research validating these roadside tests.  There are some scientific-like research behind their design.  In these studies that the Government points to are not peer-reviewed and they evidence some very fundamental design and experimental flaws.  The percent false positive are unacceptably high.  The likelihood ratios and positive predictive power are not where real science would want it.  In the real world and in most cases, officers incorrectly instruct drivers on how to perform them and incorrectly interpret the results.  So even if it was a valid method, then it will lead to an invalid conclusion if there is deviation from the method.  I have previously blogged before about how expert research show that 93% of the time officers incorrectly administer the DUI roadside tests. Scientific studies also show that incorrectly administered roadside tests, do not yield the benefit of the science behind their design.

You should certainly consult with a qualified Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer to review your case and identify potential areas to challenge.

Here is s a list of additional posts you should read that help clarify some of the issues related to SFSTs:

Roadside DUI Test: Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Explained

Do the roadside DUI Tests Actually Measure Impaired Driving

Are the Field Sobriety Tests Scientifically Proven?

And Finally..

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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