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Can field sobriety test results be used in court?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2020 | Drunk Driving |

New Jersey residents suspected of drunk driving may have to take a DUI test. The first test many come against is a field sobriety test. There are two different categories and several types of these tests. Today we will look at how valid they are in court.

There are two types of field sobriety tests: standardized and non-standardized. The court uses results from both, but you are not likely to see non-standardized results as often. This is because officers use them less often than standardized tests. Officers understand that non-standardized results are not going to get the desired outcome.

Standardized tests are more reliable in that regard. There are only three types of standardized tests. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand. All three check balance, fine motor skills and other things that alcohol would impact.

But courts use even standardized test results as supplementary evidence. This is because the results may not relate to the driver’s sobriety. Numerous medical conditions can make a driver seem intoxicated during a field test. This includes diabetes and obesity. Other ailments that impact balance also contribute, such as inner ear infections. Additionally, these tests are a precursor to more accurate testing. It is a first test that helps officers screen who they should be giving breath or blood tests to.

To continue reading about drunk driving and related charges, visit our web page here. You can learn about DUI penalties, DUI related tests and more. Take a deeper look into field sobriety tests to understand what they can mean.