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What should you know about field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | DUI | 0 comments

As a driver, it is important to understand the laws of the road. This is especially true when it comes to DUI law. One single DUI related conviction has the potential to change the entire course of your life, after all.

If suspected of driving under the influence, you will likely face a battery of tests. Field sobriety tests often make up the frontline of these tests. But what do you know about them, and what should you know?

What are they used for?

Verywell Mind looks at field sobriety tests, a common tool used by law enforcement. Field sobriety test results often come off as more subjective than objective. Because of that, officers often use these tests as a gauge to decide if they need to administer further testing. If you fail field sobriety tests, it does not mean you face a conviction. But you will likely face a breath or blood analysis test, which can provide more concrete evidence.

How are they categorized?

Field sobriety tests fall into two categories. One is less common; non-standardized field sobriety tests. These tests have no unified rubric. This means the testing officer must determine on their own whether someone passes or fails. This allows for bias to infiltrate results. Courts do not put much weight into them for this reason.

By comparison, there are only three standardized field sobriety tests. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand. Each test checks for things like balance, coordination and ability to follow directions.

If you fail a test, it is not the end of things. But you should face any possibility of conviction in a serious way.



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