Photo of Scott C. Brown

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  » What should you know about field sobriety tests?

What should you know about field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

West Virginia law enforcement may rely on field sobriety tests during a DUI check. These tests see how high a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is. Unlike breath tests or blood tests, they do not use scientific tools of measuring.

There is some basic information everyone should know about field sobriety tests. This includes what types of tests there are, how police use test results and more.

Why use standardized field sobriety tests? looks at all aspects of field sobriety testing. For example, they start by differentiating standardized field sobriety tests from non-standardized ones. Standardized field sobriety tests have a rubric that officers everywhere use. Non-standardized ones lack this uniform standard of measurement. Because of that, non-standardized tests are not used as often. An officer’s bias may interfere with the reading of the test results.

What do these tests check?

There are many non-standardized tests. In comparison, there are three types of standardized tests. They are the walk and turn, the horizontal gaze nystagmus and the one-legged stand. Officers check anything that alcohol may impair. This includes things like:

  • Balance
  • Ability to follow instruction
  • Mobility
  • Concentration

In some cases, you may not show a “sober” enough reaction to these tests. What happens if they believe that you show signs of impairment? In some cases, they may ask you to take a breath test. This shows a more accurate look at your BAC level. They may also arrest you to take a blood sample at the precinct.

If you fail a field sobriety test, it is not the worst thing that could happen. Know that these test results are rarely used in court because of their subjective nature.