Facts About Field Sobriety Tests that NHTSA Does Not Publicize

  The three-test battery of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests has been promoted by NHTSA over the past twenty years and has been adopted by all fifty states.  In three highly publicized “validation studies” NHTSA claims to have found the proof  that these FST’s are valid measures of BAC.  All of the field studies are pretty consistent in terms of low false negative rates.  However, the same cannot be said of false positives, and that is what should concern us – the wrongly accused being arrested because of flawed “science.”

  The reason why so many people over .08 and.10 BAC show 4+ HGN clues is that so many people have 4+ HGN clues at .04, .05, and .06 BAC.  In the Good, Augsburger report, where 94% of .10 BAC were positive for HGN, 82% of the people UNDER .10 were also positive with at least 4 HGN clues.  Although NHTSA trumpted that the exercise is “94% accurate in identifying intoxicated people”, there was a concerted effort to ignore the fact that their own data says the test is 82% inaccurate as applied to INNOCENT PEOPLE. 

  The Colorado study found 1 in 8 people under .05 had 4+ HGN clues. 

  In the Florida study 16% of all people below .08 BAC had all 6 clues, and it suggests that over 50% had at least 4 clues, but it doesn’t just come out and say it.  NHTSA attempts to conceal these numbers by saying that half of the correctly released drivers had 0 or 2 HGN clues.  That suggests that HALF of the correctly released drivers (under .08) had MORE than 2 clues.  The Florida report also acknowledges that 67% of all incorrect arrests (under .08) had all 6 clues. 

  Too many judges (and certainly most prosecutors) have been sold on NHTSA’s cooked up numbers. NHTSA is an organization built on lies and deception, and one of the purposes of this blog is to educate the public about their deceptions.  In court we educate juries about how the government twists evidence and data in order to satisfy the NHTSA-MADD coalition with DUI convictions, regardless of the truth about any individual defendant.  After all, they’re just “drunk drivers” and not citizens in the eyes of the NHTSA-MADD coalition. 
Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

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2 Responses to “Facts About Field Sobriety Tests that NHTSA Does Not Publicize”

  1. Most officers truly believe the garbage that NHTSA is teaching them is accurate. They simply don’t take the time to learn the other side. They are “drinking the NHTSA-MADD ‘Kool-Aid.'” So far, I have never met an officer that had bothered to read one of the validation studies.

  2. The fact that the field sobriety tests still exist in their current state is laughable. It’s ridiculous to even draw any reasonable conclusion that someone ‘might’ be under the influence based on the outcome of the current battery of tests. Change needs to happen here.

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