Standardized versus non-standardized field sobriety tests

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2020 | Drunk Driving |

Nebraska officers may ask suspected DUI drivers to take a field sobriety test. There are two primary kinds: standardized and non-standardized. Today we will look at both. We will see how they compare, where they differ and why you prefer one over the other. break down both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. Standardized tests are the most common. Officers rely on these. The shared standard means the courts consider them more reliable. Field sobriety tests are not the most accurate of sobriety testing tools. Because of this, courts often rely on them as supplementary evidence. But standardized test results provide a stronger argument.

There are only three standardized field sobriety tests. This includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one-leg stand and the walk-and-turn. These tests check your balance, dexterity and ability to follow directions. Non-standardized field sobriety tests are more varied. They can include things like:

  • Singing the alphabet backwards
  • Counting backwards or
  • Touching your finger to your nose

Non-standardized field sobriety tests lack this. Because there is no set standard, the officer giving the test is also the judge. This can lead to big discrepancies in what a person considers a probable cause to arrest. One officer may fail a suspected DUI driver where another may give them a pass. You will not see many cases built on non-standardized sobriety test results for this reason.

No matter which test you are facing, it is important to understand how field sobriety tests work. Understanding this allows you more peace of mind when you are up against the results in court.