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What Should You Know About Field Sobriety Tests?

Mockaitis Law Group LLC Sept. 17, 2020

Illinois drivers like you should understand the laws of the road before you get on them. This includes familiarity with DUI laws in the state, along with the tools that officers may use to detect a DUI-related crime.

One of these potential tools are field sobriety tests. These unique tests stand out among breath and blood tests, and you are likely to face them if under suspicion for driving under the influence.

Standardized vs. Non-Standardized Tests

FieldSobrietyTests.org looks at all information relating to both types of field sobriety tests. The two types include standardized and non-standardized tests. Of the two, standardized tests see the most use. This is because the court of law argues that non-standardized tests rely too much on an officer’s individual opinion. Thus, the outcome ends up affected greatly by their bias.

Bias still exists in standardized test results. However, standardized sobriety tests have a universal rubric. The officer must use it when judging your actions and results. This means there is less bias involved, as an officer must prove what they are looking for and what they see.

Types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

There are only three types of standardized field sobriety tests, too, while many more non-standardized types exist. The three tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand. The last two tests check your balance, mobility and coordination. The first test looks at your eye motion for the nystagmus, a shake that becomes more prominent when alcohol is in your system. All tests examine your ability to follow instructions.

You should note that field sobriety tests are not used as evidence strong enough to convict someone, though. If you fail a field sobriety test, the officer will likely request that you take a blood or breath test next.