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What should you know about field sobriety testing?

North Carolina drivers like you may have heard of field sobriety testing before. This is one of many tools that law enforcement officers have which allow them to test your sobriety.

However, field sobriety tests are not an exact science. Because of this, it is important for you to know the weight that they hold in principle and in practice.

What types of standardized field sobriety tests are there? looks into both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. Of the two types, standardized field sobriety tests see the most use. This is because they give officers less room to allow bias to affect their judgment.

There are three types of standardized field sobriety tests. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, which checks your eyes for quivering or wavering motions. This motion happens any time you look from side to side, but it is more noticeable when you are under the influence.

The other two tests are the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand. These tests check your balance, speed and dexterity. All three tests also check how well you can understand and follow directions. Officers often take your overall demeanor into consideration as well. They make notes if you behave belligerently or seem overly-confused for the situation at hand.

What happens if you fail a field sobriety test?

A field sobriety test is often step one in a series of tests. Blood and breath tests are also tools that officers use, with breath tests being more common because they are less intrusive. If you fail or have inconclusive field sobriety test results, you will likely need to take one of these tests next. This is because field sobriety test results do not provide solid evidence on their own.

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