How does a penlight sobriety test work?
What is a penlight test?
Let's say you have been stopped by a police officer because they think you are drunk. An officer has several ways to test your sobriety, and one of the first things they have been known to do is perform a penlight test. You can expect to be required to stare into the officer's penlight, and while keeping your head still follow that light with your eyes only. The officer is going to try and determine your sobriety based on the timing and angle of your vision. If your eye jerks at around a 45 degree angle, the officer will try to explore whatever options he can to determin whether you are safe to drive or impared by being under the influence of alcohol. There are times when an officer will use a pencil or a finger for your eyes to follow. The end results will be the same. They are looking to see if the pupils dialate, as well as their specific reaction when the light is swung before both eyes and the pupils respondt. Alcohol severely hinders the human body to have control over its behavior, and the reaction to light is considered to be very telling as to sobriety within the law enforcement communtiy.
How reliable is this penlight test?
The penlight test has quite a reputation of proof in being a very unreliable field sobriety test. To properly administer this test, and for it to be authenticated, the one performing the penlight test is required to have professional medical training. Among the many problems this test is known to carry, its primary lack of credibility is due largly in part because it requires that the officer performing the test must be adequately trained, and with the majority of officers do not carrying the medical background necessary, therefore they are incapable of reading the penlight test accurately. It is also very important to note here, that the lack of medical background is key to the fact that the medical community will not recognize this test as being authentically capable of determining the sobriety of any driver. Because of these unfortunate and very common setbacks, many States will not allow the findings of the penlight test to be admitted into evidence. Unfortunately, it continues to be utalized by law enforcement anyway. This creates a big gap in the chain of evidence if the penlight test is the only tool utalized to create a case for confirming your lack of sobriety.
Previous QuestionHow do I get this DUI DWI off my record?