The Science of Fear & Field Sobriety Tests:
Fear is not just mental. It is physical and involuntary. It causes one to lose normal mental and physical faculties. The field sobriety tests were developed in a vacuum. The greatest travesty NHTSA perpetuates on our citizenry is the application of these nonscientific tests. This is because these are tests without any proper scientific consideration to fear. Here is the article I wrote, very relevant for anyone arrested for DWI/DUI. (link above, on tcdla’s archived website of Voice articles )
The definition of intoxication for DWI purposes in most states centers around a theme of “loss of normal use of mental and or physical faculties” due to alcohol and or a drug(s). It is common sense that fear causes a “loss of normal mental and or physical faculties.” It is a fact that everyone in a DWI investigation experiences fear. Fear is a natural response when threatened with jail in a DWI situation. It is a travesty to those accused of DWI to be misjudged on “loss of normal use of mental and physical faculties” due to fear. This leads to false DWI convictions.
The National Highway Safety Administration in its grants towards developing the DWI field sobriety tests failed to factor in many real life scenarios including fear into their research which are highly applicable and relevant in assessing intoxication. I wrote this paper after much research in an aim to help not only my clients, other top DWI lawyers, and all defense lawyers but to educate judges, jurors, DAs, and the general public so that justice can be done. Information is power. We should consider this information should in any DWI investigation.