When law enforcement pulls you over in Georgia on suspicion of DUI, what happens next? They may ask you to take a field sobriety test. What is a field sobriety test? How are the test results used after the officer gets them?
Dealing with a field sobriety test may seem scary. In reality, it is not something you should worry too much about.
Standardized field sobriety test rubrics
FieldSobrietyTests.org shares information on all matters related to field sobriety tests. For one, they differentiate between standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. Non-standardized tests do not see much use. Why? Because they do not have the same rubric that standardized field sobriety tests have. This rubric ensures that officers judge tests in a fair and non-biased way. Without a rubric, it is up to an officer’s discretion to decide if someone passed or failed a test.
Types of standardized sobriety tests
There are only three types of standardized field sobriety tests for this reason. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand. These tests check your balance and coordination. They examine your ability to follow instructions. Officers will also watch your behavior as you take these tests. Excessive amounts of belligerence may point to a higher BAC level. They also look for visual or audible signs of intoxication. This may include slurred speech, red eyes and the smell of alcohol on your breath.
It is important to note that field sobriety tests are not definitive evidence of a DUI. Sometimes, they are a stepping stone to other tests. But they are never used as stand-alone evidence in court. They do not stand up to scrutiny well enough for that.