When an officer pulls you over on a routine traffic stop, they may issue tests if they have suspicion you are driving under the influence. But a breath analysis test may not be the first thing you take.
Instead, you might face a field sobriety test. But what are these tests? Why do officers use them? And what happens if you fail one?
Types of sobriety tests
VeryWell Mind discusses the purpose of field sobriety tests. These tests check physical impacts of substance use, which may include things like your balance, dexterity and ability to follow instructions. There are two types of tests: standardized and non-standardized. Standardized are most common. They help reduce officer bias through the use of a unified rubric that all officers must use.
Officers tend to use field sobriety tests first for a number of reasons. For one, they are less invasive than other forms of testing. It is often easier to get people to cooperate or agree to take a field sobriety test. They are easy to administer and do not require additional equipment.
The impact of officer bias
But due to the heavy potential of officer bias, these test results do not hold much weight in court. Officer soften use them to justify further testing or arrest, instead. Thus, a failed field sobriety test is not your biggest concern.
At the same time, it can lead to further testing and complications in court. Thus, you should take field sobriety tests and their results seriously. If you fail a field sobriety test, consider contacting legal help. They can walk you through your trial as smoothly as possible.