Preface to the 2006 Standardized Field Sobriety Test Manual
The procedures outlined in this manual describe how the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) are to be administered under ideal conditions. We recognize that the SFSTs will not always be administered under ideal conditions in the field, because such conditions will not always exist. Even when administered under less than ideal conditions, they will generally serve as valid and useful indicators of impairment. Slight variations from the ideal, i.e., the inability to find a perfectly smooth surface at roadside, may have some affect on the evidentiary weight given to the results. However, this does not necessarily make the SFSTs invalid.
NOTE: After Homan, how many of us use the deviations in the applications of the test to go at the evidentiary weight? Can the language “some affect on the evidentiary weight” mean reasonable doubt at trial? It seems to me that the best reaction to some of the legislative actions taken against science by and the remaining embarrassment of State v. Vega is to try more and more cases.