What are standardized field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2020 | DUI |

Georgia residents like you may have to go through a field sobriety test if pulled over. Routine sobriety checks often involve sobriety tests first. Because of this, it would benefit you to understand what these tests are.

Standardized field sobriety tests are the most common type. You are likely to run into this first if an officer ever requests that you take one.

Why are standardized tests used most?

FieldSobrietyTests.org provides good information on matters relating to field sobriety tests. What makes standardized field sobriety tests the most common type? It is a matter of eliminating personal bias. Non-standardized field sobriety tests are exactly as they sound. They do not have a standardized rubric by which officers judge results. When an officer gives you a non-standardized test, they judge the outcome themselves. This means there is room for bias. Because of that room for bias, test results from these tests are not as accurate.

What are the three types of standardized tests?

There are only three types of standardized field sobriety tests. This includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand. These tests often check several things, including:

  • Your sense of balance
  • Your ability to follow instructions
  • Your sense of direction
  • How stable you remain during the process

Field sobriety tests are often used as a “litmus” of sorts. If an officer finds your results suspicious, they may request further testing. This often includes breath or blood tests, which are more invasive. This is why officers do not always start off with such tests. But because field sobriety tests are subjective, they are not used as primary evidence in court.