When dealing with field sobriety tests, it is crucial to understand several key points of information. First, what are they? Second, why do officers rely on them? And third, what happens if you fail one?
The answers to these questions may change how you interact with field sobriety tests in general, and could certainly alter how you deal with a potential failed test result.
Standardized and non-standardized tests
Field sobriety tests serve as a way for officers to determine if you have hit the road while intoxicated. In fact, officers often use them as a litmus test to determine whether they need to implement further and potentially more invasive testing, such as breath or blood analysis tests.
Field sobriety tests come in two forms: standardized and non-standardized. Standardized tests see more use, as they got created with the intention to lower the influence of officer bias on test results. After all, field sobriety tests do not use a form of science to get answers. It relies solely on the observation and judgment of the testing officer, which leaves room for bias to sway decisions.
Test results as evidence
The courts are aware of this flaw, which means field sobriety test results do not often see use as focal points of evidence. If you end up failing one of these tests, understand that it will not typically impact your case on a whole.
But do not simply brush it off, either. If you do this, you risk the consequences that might come from failing further testing. An officer can arrest you simply on a failed field sobriety test alone, too. Thus, while you should not worry too much about it, you should not take it too lightly.