What are standardized field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2020 | Firm News

What happens if Wisconsin law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of DUI? You may face field sobriety tests. This is one of the first tools they may use in an attempt to determine your sobriety level.

There are several things to know about field sobriety tests. This includes the different types you may run into. It also includes the tests that fall into these categories and more.

Why are non-standardized tests not used?

FieldSobrietyTests.org provides a full look at how field sobriety tests work. First, they define standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. Non-standardized tests are not used as often. This is because they do not have a set rubric by which officers can judge test results. Instead, the outcome of a test often depends on how the officer interprets results. This gives the defendant more wiggle room to argue bias in court. For this reason, these tests are not used.

Types of standardized field sobriety tests

There are fewer standardized field sobriety tests than non-standardized ones. In fact, there are only three. They include the walk-and-turn, the horizontal gaze nystagmus and the one-leg stand. Each of these tests checks your balance and stability. They also check your ability to follow instructions. Officers may take any refusal to cooperate as a sign of intoxication. Wisconsin drivers should take them but should also reveal any of their own physical impairments.

Finally, field sobriety test results do not condemn a person. In many situations, officers consider them a first line of testing. This means you do not have to worry about a conviction right away if you fail a field sobriety test. They may ask you to take other tests if you do, though. This is something to keep in mind.