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Sobriety Tests Aren't Always Accurate

There are three official field sobriety tests used by law enforcement officials. These field sobriety tests are used when a driver is pulled over and suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Law enforcement officers may also use other non-standard field sobriety tests. These tests are used to detect whether a driver is under the influence or not. They test:

  • Coordination.
  • Muscle function.
  • Balance.
  • Your ability to follow instructions.

Keep in mind that like the standard field sobriety tests, these tests can be misinterpreted. For instance, a police officer may mistakenly believe you are drunk because he or she thinks you performed a test incorrectly.

The following is a list of non-standardized field sobriety tests commonly used by law enforcement:

Rhomberg Balance Test
With this test, the officer will ask you to stand with your feet together. He or she will then require you to slightly tilt you head back and close your eyes. The officer asks you to estimate how long it takes for 30 seconds to pass. When you believe 30 seconds have passed, you tilt your head forward, open your eyes and indicate that time has passed.

Finger Count Test
The officer will instruct you to hold your hand out with your palm facing up. You are to touch your thumb to your middle, index and little finger. This must be done one by one while you are counting out loud. You then have to reverse the test. The officer ask you to complete a total of three sets.

Hand Pat Test
The officer indicates that you hold one hand out with your palm side up. He or she will then ask you to place the other hand on top of your hand that is palm up. However, the second hand must be palm down. You will then proceed to count out loud as you pat the top hand on your bottom hand. You alternate with the palm side facing up then down.

Finger-to-Nose Test
You may have seen this test on drunk driving commercials or television dramas. The officer asks you to close your eyes and tilt your head back. You must use your index finger to touch the tip of your nose. The officer requires you to do this six times using each hand.

Consulting the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin

These non-standard sobriety tests are easy to fail in the officer's eyes. Poor performance on the tests is an indication that you are under the influence of alcohol. It important to note that these non-standard sobriety tests can be easily influenced by a pre-existing injury, illness or an honest inability to follow instructions. It does not matter whether a person is drunk or sober. The degrees of success vary because of many things including:

• High heeled shoes.
• Distracted environment.
• Inaccurate instructions.
• Slippery payment.
• Biased officer.

If an officer has instructed you to complete a non-standardized field sobriety test during your DUI top, this may work to your advantage. The tests haven’t been proven effective or accurate by any reputable source. Also, the tests are often administered and graded in a way that is inconsistent. This further adds to these tests being unreliable as any credible and reliable evidence of intoxication.

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Contact Information

Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323-464-6700