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Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Validation Studies
Psychophysical Tests for DWI Arrests - June 1977 Final Report (1.75 Mb)
Marcelline Burns & Herbert Moskowitz
As part of DWI arrest procedures, tests of alcohol impairment may be
used by police officers, either at roadside or in the station.
Objectives of this study included evaluation of currently-used tests,
development of more sensitive and reliable measures, and the
standardization of test administration.
All of the 6
tests were found to be alcohol sensitive, and the officers made
correct arrest/release decisions for 76% of the participants. Data
analysis led to recommendations of a "best" reduced battery of tests
which includes examination of balance (One-leg Stand) and walking
(Walk-and-Turn), as well as the jerking nystagmus movement of the eyes
(Alcohol Gaze Nystagmus).
Development and Field Test of Psychophysical Tests for DWI Arrest- 1981
Final Report (2.06 Mb)
V. Tharp, M. Burns, and H. Moskowitz
Administration and scoring procedures were standardized for a sobriety
test battery consisting of the walk-and-turn test, the one leg stand
test, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. The effectiveness of the
standardized battery was then evaluated in the laboratory and, to a
limited extent, in the field.
officers administered the tests in the laboratory to 297 drinking
volunteers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) ranging from 0 to
0.18%. The officers were able to classify 81% of these volunteers, on
the basis of their test scores, with respect to whether their BACs
were above or below 0.10%. Officer estimates of the BACs of people
they tested differed by 0.03% on the average from the actual BAC.
Interrater and test-retest reliabilities for the test battery ranged
from 0.60 to 0.80.
In a limited
field evaluation police officers filled out 3128 data forms, each
represented a driver stopped during a three month period. Police
officers, after training on the administration and scoring procedures
for the test battery, tended to increase their arrest rates and
appeared to be more effective in estimating BACs of stopped drivers
than they were before training. Anonymous breath testing of released
drivers who were stopped indicated that many of the drinking drivers
were never given a sobriety test.
Field Evaluation of a Behavioral Test Battery for DWI - September 1983 -
Theodore E. Anderson, Robert M. Schweitz, and Monroe B. Snyder
An Experimental Evaluation of a Field Sobriety Test Battery in the
Marine Environment- June 1990 - (2.25 Mb)
E. Donald Sussman, Ann Needalman, and Peter H. Mengert
This report describes an investigation of the accuracy of a FST (Field
Sobriety Test) battery used in the marine environment. FSTs rely on
the observation and measurement of the effect of alcohol intoxication
on coordination, visual tracking and balance. The purpose of this
study was to determine if there was any decrease in the accuracy of
the tests when used under recreational boating conditions.
correlation of the officers' FST based estimates with BACs obtained
using breath tests was approximately .70. This level is consistent
with similarly obtained correlations from highway studies. It was
concluded that the accuracy of FST batteries are not degraded in the
Colorado Validation Study of the SFST Battery - November 1995 Final
Report - (140 K)
Marcelline Burns & Ellen Anderson
This study was designed to (1) gather data to assign officers'
decisions to the four cells of the decision matrix and to (2) examine
the accuracy of the SFST battery when used in the widely varying
weather conditions of Colorado winter, spring, and summer months.
A Florida Validation Study of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test
(SFST) Battery - 1997
Marcelline Burns & Teresa Dioquino
Validation of the SFST Battery at BACs Below 0.10 Percent - August 1998
Jack Stuster & Marcelline Burns
This study evaluated the accuracy of the Standardized Field Sobriety
Testing (SFST) Battery to assist officers in making arrest decisions
for DWI at blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) below 0.10 percent.
NHTSA's SFST battery was validated at 0.10 percent BAC in 1981. The
trend to reduce statutory DWI limits to 0.08 percent BAC prompted this
of this study provide clear evidence of the validity of the SFST
battery to discriminate at 0.08 percent BAC, using a slightly modified
scoring procedure. Further, study results strongly suggest that the
SFSTs also accurately discriminate at 0.04 BAC.
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