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Can a failed field sobriety test get you convicted?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2020 | DUI |

When officers check West Virginia residents for BAC levels, what tests do they use? Field sobriety tests are common. In fact, this is often the “first line” of testing. 

But what if you fail a field sobriety test? Is a failed test result enough for a court to convict you of driving under the influence? Today, we will answer this question. 

Non-standardized and standardized field sobriety tests take an in-depth look at information relating to field sobriety tests. First of all, a field sobriety test result is not enough to convict a driver of a DUI. Field sobriety tests are a subjective way to measure sobriety. 

There are two types of field sobriety tests. One is less subjective than the other. These include standardized field sobriety tests. These tests come with rubrics that all officers use. Non-standardized tests do not have these rubrics. Officers judge results on their own. Because of that, there is room for personal bias and error. 

The subjectivity of field sobriety tests 

But experts consider even standardized tests to have a level of subjectivity. With these tests, there is still a wide margin for error. For example, many health conditions make it difficult for people to balance. They would likely not do well in the walk-and-turn test. They may fail the one-leg stand test. But they do not have a high BAC. 

Officers sometimes use field sobriety tests to determine if they should do more testing. If you fail a field sobriety test, they may request a blood or breath test. Officers never present field sobriety test results on their own in court. No one expects to gain a conviction like that.