In Massachusetts, officers have tools to work with when suspecting a driver of DUI. If you are the driver pulled over, what tests should you anticipate? You may think of breath tests or even blood tests first. But these are not the first in the officer’s arsenal.
First up are usually field sobriety tests. There are two different types. You are more likely to run into one than the other, and for good reason.
Potential for bias in non-standardized tests
FieldSobrietyTests.org looks into all manners of field sobriety testing. They start by explaining that there are two types of field sobriety tests. Non-standardized and standardized tests make up the two categories. But you are less likely to see an officer issue a non-standardized test. Why is that?
In short, non-standardized tests allow for a greater potential for officer bias. In these tests, the only person deciding who passes or fails a test is the officer administering it. Though officers try to remain free of bias, it is impossible to do so completely.
Large number of non-standardized tests causes issues
There are also fewer standardized tests than non-standardized ones. The amount of non-standardized tests there are increases the probability of miscalculated results. After all, an officer may have only given a certain test once or twice before. They do not get to know what results often look like before they move on to another test.
Due to potential bias, the court does not take results from non-standardized tests as serious evidence. This is why officers tend to avoid them. If you fail any type of field sobriety test, chances are it will not harm you on its own.