Free Confidential Consultation


Standardized versus non-standardized field sobriety tests

Sep 01, 2019

When a North Carolina resident is suspected of driving under the influence, the police will typically do a field sobriety test in order to check for signs of intoxication. There are two types of these tests: standardized and non-standardized.

Non-standardized field sobriety tests are not used often because they aren’t considered completely reliable in the eyes of the court. There are many types of these non-standardized tests that still get utilized, however. Some examples include:

  • The finger-to-nose test
  • The finger-count test
  • The hand pat test
  • The Romberg balance test
  • The vertical gaze nystagmus test

Standardized field sobriety tests are used most frequently. There are three standardized tests, which include:

  • The walk and turn test: In this test, a driver must walk in a straight line, turn on their heel and walk back without losing their balance.
  • The one-leg stand: For the one-leg stand, a driver is asked to stand with one foot roughly six inches from the ground and count for 30 seconds.
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test: This test requires the driver to follow an object with only their eyes as it moves from side to side.

All of these tests, as well as the non-standardized tests, are meant to check for signs of impairment. This includes balance, stability, mobility and how long a person can hold certain poses. However, these tests are not considered foolproof as there can be many reasons a person may fail them. If you failed a field sobriety test, learn about your options.

Your Free Consultation

Can Be The First Step Toward Solving Your Problem

Our attorneys listen and do not judge. We look for ways to help you through this challenging time. Schedule a free, no-risk consultation with an attorney.


Recent Posts