Officers use many tools to help detect potentially intoxicated drivers on the road. You may have heard of some of them, such as field sobriety tests. But what do these tests actually do? How do they work?
Most importantly, how do they impact you? Can a failed field sobriety test have a negative impact?
Standardized vs. non-standardized
Verywell Mind discusses all you need to know about field sobriety testing. First, officers can choose from standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. More often than not, they will choose standardized. Why? Because these tests have a unified rubric. This helps eliminate officer bias from influencing the results. Because of that, the court often views these tests as a more reliable unit of measure.
Types of standardized tests
If an officer chooses to use standardized tests, they have three to choose from. This includes the walk-and-turn, the one-legged stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus. The last test works by measuring a waver in your eye that intensifies with alcohol in the bloodstream. The first two test for physical aptitude. All three check your ability to listen, understand and follow instructions.
Note that failing a field sobriety test is not the end of the line for you. In fact, courts do not view field sobriety tests as particularly reliable units of detecting intoxication. Many other factors, both physical and mental, can influence results. You should treat any DUI charge seriously. At the same time, do not panic over one failed field sobriety test. Instead, consider contacting a legal professional. They can help you navigate the aftermath of your arrest.