How accurate are field sobriety tests?

When Texas residents drive in an erratic way, what DUI tests do officers use? They will often turn to field sobriety tests before anything else. 

This allows them to gauge whether they should use other tests. Today we will look at field sobriety tests and their accuracy when in use. 

How do field sobriety tests differ? describes both standardized and non-standardized versions of field sobriety tests. If you take a field sobriety test, it will likely be a standardized version. This is because officers grade standardized versions by rubric. With non-standardized tests, it is up to each individual officer to decide if a person passes or fails. Because of this, non-standardized tests are less objective. 

There are only three types of standardized field sobriety tests. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one-leg stand and the walk-and-turn. These tests check an individual’s balance and stability. They also check for how well a person understands and follows instructions. 

Why are field sobriety test results subjective? 

Courts and officers alike consider both tests somewhat subjective, though. They are less objective than blood tests or even breath tests. Because of this, officers do not use field sobriety tests to find condemning evidence. In many court cases, these results support other pieces of evidence. Officers prefer to rely on blood or breath tests. Though these tests also have their issues, they are more accurate and less subjective. 

This is important for anyone facing a field sobriety test and failing. Some feel like failing a field sobriety test will condemn them. You should know that this is not the case.