When an officer pulls you over on a routine traffic stop, it is possible they may feel you have committed a traffic crime. They also keep an eye out for signs of potential intoxicated driving. But what happens if they believe you fall under that category?
Most likely, they will start by checking your sobriety levels. Field sobriety tests are the quickest and easiest way to get a potential read on that, so you will likely face one first.
Standardized vs. non-standardized tests
VeryWell Health examines field sobriety tests and their place in an officer’s toolbox. First, there are two types of these tests: standardized and non-standardized versions. There are three standardized tests. Law enforcement created them as a way to help cut down on officer bias.
Officer bias often shows itself in these tests due to their lack of scientific measurement. Breath and blood tests both measure the levels of alcohol in the body. But field sobriety tests just examine the behaviors a driver might display. Creating a standardized rubric gives officers a guideline by which to judge drivers. But there is still room for bias to influence results.
The impact of officer bias
Because of this, courts often do not accept field sobriety test results as primary evidence. Most officers do not expect for it to see such use, either. Instead, they will often use a failed field sobriety test as reason for making an arrest or requiring further testing.
You should not worry too much about a failed field sobriety test. But be aware that it is an avenue for authorities to use other measures to try arresting or convicting you. Consider seeking legal help to guide you through.