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What are standardized field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2020 | DUI

When Alaska law enforcement suspects you are driving under the influence, what happens? They may pull you over. They may talk to you after. In some cases, an officer may feel there is enough suspicion to ask you to do a sobriety test.

There are many sobriety tests available to law enforcement. Field sobriety tests are among the first they may use.

Why are standardized tests used more often? looks at different types of field sobriety tests. Officers can do these tests “in the field”, or at the scene where they pull you over. They are often simple physical tasks that a sober person would not struggle with in theory. Intoxicated people may have issues completing these tasks, though.

There are two types of field sobriety tests. You are likely to see standardized field sobriety tests in use. This is due to the rubric used in judging standardized tests. This helps keep test results more fair. It eliminates the bias of an officer, to a degree. Eliminating a bias entirely is not possible.

What do these tests check?

These tests will often check your balance, dexterity and concentration. They may also test your ability to follow directions. Officers will look at your attitude, too. Intoxicated people are often belligerent. If intoxicated, your emotions may not match up to what you are saying or doing.

There are three types of standardized field sobriety tests. This includes the walk-and-turn, the one-legged stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus. As mentioned, these tests check balance, concentration and more. But field sobriety test results are not conclusive evidence of a DUI. Thus, if you fail one of these tests, do not feel like it is the end of the road.