South Carolina drivers like you must familiarize yourself with your road rights. Know what to expect if an officer ever pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence.
An officer who suspects you of DUI will likely administer a test. The first one you may face is a field sobriety test. What should you know about these unique tests and how they fit into DUI cases?
The presence of officer bias in results
FieldSobrietyTests.org discusses types of field sobriety tests, both standardized and non-standardized. Standardized field sobriety tests are more common. Why? Because non-standardized tests have a wide margin of error due to bias. In a non-standardized test, the testing officer examines results. Based on their judgment, they give you a pass or fail. There are no checks or balances to handle officer bias.
By contrast, standardized field sobriety tests get graded against a set rubric. Officers across the country use this rubric. While there is still a margin for officer bias, it is less likely. Thus, the officer and court value results more highly.
Types of standardized field sobriety tests
There are three types of standardized field sobriety tests. This includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand. All tests check things that blood alcohol content level would impact. For example, the walk-and-turn tests your dexterity and balance. Every test checks your ability to remember and follow instructions. The horizontal gaze nystagmus checks your eyes for a “shake”. This shake appears in everyone, but is more prominent as your BAC level rises.
But field sobriety test results do not hold a lot of weight in court. Because of that, you should prepare for a second test (such as a breath or blood test) if you fail or come up inconclusive.