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What should you know about field sobriety tests?

| Mar 25, 2021 | DUI |

Officers have different tools they use to measure a person’s potential level of intoxication. Some rely on tools of measurement, like breath or blood analysis tests. Others, like field sobriety tests, do not.

What are these tests? What should you know about them? And how do they apply to your current situation with a potential DUI charge?

Types of field sobriety tests

Very Well Mind takes a look at field sobriety tests. Officers use these tests to determine if you are intoxicated. They often use it before turning to breath or blood analysis tests, as it is less invasive. There are two types of field sobriety tests: standard and non-standard.

Standard field sobriety tests have a standardized rubric by which all officers judge the results. This is a way of keeping said results as free from potential bias as possible. Note that bias can and does still influence results, however.

Non-standard field sobriety tests do not have this same rubric. As a result, courts often take results with a grain of salt because of the huge potential for personal bias. There are many more non-standard tests, but you are less likely to run into them.

Standard tests

There are three types of standard tests, on the other hand. Each one checks your balance, ability to hear and follow directions, and dexterity. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand.

Finally, know that failing a field sobriety test is not the end of the line. In fact, courts often dismiss these results due to the potentially biased nature. However, they might supplement other pieces of evidence, so you should still take care.

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