The ABCs of BACs: Sobriety Test Reliability

The ABCs of BACs: Sobriety Test Reliability

Arresting police officers utilize a number of field sobriety tests to gauge your BAC—blood alcohol content. Your Orange County DUI lawyer knows all about the tests, including many that research shows are not reliable indicators of intoxication.

Handwriting tests, for example, cannot accurately reflect blood alcohol content, but many alcohol influence reports ask the police to gather a handwriting sample from the person being tested. If you have bad handwriting, the prosecution may try to hold it against you in court. However, a published government report shows that handwriting does not reflect alcohol impairment.

Blood Alcohol Content and Language Tests

How about your ABCs? In other discredited tests, police may ask DUI subjects to pronounce difficult words, or recite the alphabet. But failure to perform well on these measures might suggest bad diction, English as a second language, or illiteracy—issues that are not related to sobriety or intoxication. Although language tests do not measure sobriety, a combination of three other tests is more often used. They include the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests. These common assessments may also present false results, however.

It is important to consult your Orange County DUI lawyer for complete information about sobriety tests and how they impact your defense. Call the Law Office of Mike Coffey Attorney at Law& the Law Office of Mike Coffey Attorney at Lawat (800) 706-7888. Our firm has a complete knowledge of the law, the tests, strategies for defense, and the working of our local courts.

(Sources: Improved Sobriety Testing, Department of Transportation, DOT HS 806512, January 1984; Alcohol: Its Effect on Handwriting, Galbraith, 31 J. Forensic Sci. 2 at 580, 1986.)