What are field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2020 | DUI/DWI Defense |

Officers may ask New Jersey residents accused of DUI to take sobriety tests. There are several types of tests they may request. One of the most common to start out with are field sobriety tests. Today we will discuss these tests. 

Sobriety Tests

FieldSobrietyTests.org examine both types of field sobriety tests. The main categories include standardized and non-standardized. Non-standardized tests are less common. Due to the lack of standardization, they do not hold up as well in court. An officer examines the test results in these cases. It is up to that arresting officer to interpret the test results. 

Standardized sobriety tests have set standards that determine whether someone passes or fails. There are only three types of standardized field sobriety tests. This includes the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. 

Field sobriety tests check coordination, balance and ability to follow instructions. Being able to process orders is also important. This is often a first line of testing. What if you do not score well on your field sobriety test? The officer may ask you to take other tests. This can include breath and blood tests. Both of these are much more accurate on a scientific level. 

Field sobriety tests have the potential for inaccuracies. Because of that, the test results are not often the focal point of evidence. This is true whether you had a standardized or non-standardized test. This is important, as many people worry that field sobriety test results decide their fate. This is not the case. They are just one piece of evidence that the prosecutors may use. 


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