Missouri law enforcement officers sometimes request drivers to take field sobriety tests. These tests break down into two categories: standardized and non-standardized. Today we will take a look at the differences between the two. We will also look at why you are more likely to run into one type than the other.

FieldSobrietyTests.org talks about both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests. Standardized field sobriety tests have a rubric by which officers “grade” them. This rubric is the same throughout the states. This allows all officers to rate these tests in a more uniform way. Non-standardized field sobriety tests do not have this rubric. It is up to the officer giving the test to decide whether the person taking it has passed or failed.

Standardized tests are more common than non-standardized tests for this reason. Non-standardized tests have a more subjective form of grading. This means an officer’s personal bias factors into the end result. Standardized tests are more objective. It is still possible for an officer’s biases to color their perception. But it is less common for those biases to affect their decision.

There are three types of standardized tests compared to non-standardized tests. This allows officers to get to know the tests and rubrics better. Mistakes still happen, but it is less common. It is also easier for courts to keep track of three tests.

Both types of tests have their flaws. Neither provide very strong evidence in court, either. But you are more likely to run into standardized tests. This is because courts and officers alike consider them more reliable.