The Southern California Research Institute conducted studies sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to develop a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. Otherwise referred to as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), it consists of the following:
When the component tests of the SFST battery are combined, officers are accurate in 91 percent of cases, overall, and in 94 percent of cases if explanations for some of the false positives are accepted. This means that if less than all three of these tests are done, or one or more of the tests is substituted for the alphabet or nose-touch test, probable cause for arrest could come into question.
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