What Should You Know About Field Sobriety Tests?

If officers in Texas pulls you over and suspects you of driving under the influence, they may employ several different tests to check your sobriety level. One of the tests you may run into is known as a field sobriety test.

These are units of measurement used to determine whether or not someone could be considered sober at the time the test is given. There are two primary categories these tests fall into: standardized and nonstandardized.

Standardized field sobriety tests 

Standardized field sobriety tests are the ones you are most likely to run into. This is because there is a set and agreed-upon standard used across the board with the results from these tests. That provides more leverage when used in court. There are only three standardized field sobriety tests. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand, and the walk-and-turn. All of these tests check your balance as well as mobility and ability to concentrate and follow directions. The first test also checks the smoothness of your eye movement, as people under the influence usually have a tremor.

Non-standardized field sobriety tests

On the other hand, it is rare by comparison for nonstandardized field sobriety tests to be utilized alone. This is because they don’t have an agreed-upon standard, making them harder to use in court as evidence of a driver being under the influence. Without that standard, it is much easier to debunk what a nonstandardized field sobriety test may or may not show. Some examples of these tests include counting backward or reciting the alphabet backward.

You may wish to note, however, that even standardized field sobriety tests are not infallible in court. This is because there are plenty of other reasons outside of intoxication that could cause a person to perform badly on these tests. Typically speaking, officers use these tests to back up other pieces of evidence rather than using them as standalone evidence.