I've just watched this video of a police officer in Miami administering a field sobriety test on a person suspected to be driving under the influence. The test takes over ten minutes.
There are two confusions I have. The first one is that, as I've learned on Wikipedia the whole point of the test is to establish probable cause for which to arrest someone. As you could see from the video this takes so much time, and the instructions aren't very clear for someone performing this for the first time. Would a breathalyser test not also establish probable cause?
Also, as I've seen on Wikipedia there is controversy over the use of such tests, and rightly so, as there have been studies that have shown how accurate or useful they are:
"After viewing the 21 videos of sober individuals taking the standardized field tests, the police officers believed that forty-six percent of the individuals had 'too much to drink'".
And there are other studies of the same sort.
Finally, I'm of the opinion that many who have never touched alcohol would fail this test for reasons such as that some tasks are quite demanding, the mental stress and intimidation felt by the subject, and also that the instructions aren't all that clear. For example one requires you close your eyes, look up, count to 30, and then stop the task while the police officer times you. I don't believe all people would count thirty seconds consistently, I certainly wouldn't be accurate in this. Nor would I likely be able to place one foot in front of another so stringently, or maybe stand on one foot under pressure.
Many of the people commenting on the video have expressed exactly what I feel, that even 100% sober I would fail this test.
So my question are:
1) What's the point of spending so much time going through this procedure if the main point of it is to establish probable cause, which can also be established with a 5 second breath test, which is also preliminary test to establish probable cause.
2) Isn't it unreasonable to expect normal people to pass these tests? Walking a straight line and counting the steps while remembering which foot to start from seems overwhelming to me, as does counting 30 seconds, and many of the other tests.