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What are standardized field sobriety tests?

What are standardized field sobriety tests?

| Jul 31, 2020 | DUI/DWI |

Under Florida law, officers have the ability to give suspected DUI drivers tests. These tests check your sobriety level. They have many different ones at their disposal. But field sobriety tests are among the most common to start off with.

Of these tests, you are most likely to run into standardized field sobriety tests. Thus, it is important to understand as much about them as possible.

Why standardized tests are more popular looks at standardized field sobriety tests. Compared to non-standardized tests, officers use them more often. Why? Because there is less bias within standardized tests. They rely on a rubric which is the same for every officer. This removes some personal bias that may present itself when judging test results.

What field sobriety tests check

There are fewer standardized tests than non-standardized ones. In fact, there are only three official standardized tests. This includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand. These tests check your:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Ability to understand and follow instructions
  • Dexterity
  • Stability

Also, officers keep an eye open for other potential signs that point to DUI. This may include a belligerent attitude toward police. You may slur your speech. They may detect the smell of alcohol on you. These may end up classified as probable causes for arrest.

In the end, field sobriety tests are not a perfect science. Officers and the courts both know this. For that reason, these tests are not the only method of gathering data on DUI infringements. In fact, it is very unlikely that you will deal with a field sobriety test and nothing else. Do not worry if you happen to fail one.