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What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

December 15, 2020

As a resident of Indiana, it is important to understand how officers in the area rely on field sobriety tests. Though it is not often a condemning piece of evidence used in trials, a failed field sobriety test can still lead to your arrest.

Thus, you should know what they are. How many field sobriety tests are there? How accurate are they? And why do officers use them?

Standardized vs. Non-Standardized Tests

Verywell Mind looks at field sobriety tests, a police detection tool. There are two types: standardized and non-standardized. There are three types of standardized field sobriety test and many more non-standardized ones. This is because standardized tests have a universal rubric by which officers judge them. It is harder to make a test standardized.

This is also why standardized tests see more use. As they have a rubric, officers have guidelines by which to judge results. In other tests, personal bias may color the way an officer views a participant’s actions and words. The courts understand this bias exists, too. This is why field sobriety test results are not strong pieces of evidence in cases. The tests lack in scientific backing and have a large margin of error and personal bias.

Why Do Officers Use These Tests?

Officers still use them to get a sense of the situation, though. If you fail a field sobriety test, an officer may administer other tests as well. This could include breath and blood tests, which courts view as a more accurate representation of your blood alcohol content (BAC) level.

Regardless, failing any of these tests is not the end of the road. If you take and fail a field sobriety test, the next step is to contact a legal expert to see what your options are.

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