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What are standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2020 | DWI |

North Carolina drivers like you may someday find law enforcement pulling you over. If they ask you to do a field sobriety test, you should know what they are. This can help prevent unnecessary panic. 

You should understand the purpose of these tests. It also helps to know how the court views the results. If you can examine the differences between the two, it may also help. 

How officers examine test results looks at both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. But you should note that you are more likely to run into one over the other. Standardized field sobriety tests see more use. This is because they have uniform rubrics that all officers use. Compare this to non-standardized tests. The examination of results depends on the officer who issued the test. They determine if someone passes or fails. This allows for internal bias to play a role in how the results look. 

The variety of tests 

There are many types of non-standardized field sobriety tests. By comparison, there are only three types of standardized ones. This includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn, and the one-leg stand. These tests check a person’s balance, coordination and ability to follow instruction. 

Field sobriety test results are not considered irrefutable proof of a DUI crime. This is because it is not an exact science. For example, someone may not complete the one-leg stand because of intoxication. They may also fail this test due to balance issues brought on by health problems. There are too many factors in play for these results to be a big deciding factor.