Non-Standard Sobriety Tests Cannot be Trusted

You have probably heard about the standard field sobriety tests used to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Have you heard about the non-standard field sobriety tests? These non-standard tests are also used to determine whether a driver has been driving while under the influence of alcohol. They do so by testing a driver’s muscle function, ability to follow instructions and balance.

Unfortunately, non-standard field sobriety tests have their problems. One problem is operator error. This means a police officer may misinterpret the tests and decide you are intoxicated when in reality you are not.

The Types of Non-Standard Field Sobriety Tests

There are numerous non-standard field sobriety tests officers can use such as:

Hand Pat Test

You extend one hand with your palm facing up. You place your other hand on top of that hand. Your palm is down. As you use your top hand to pat the bottom one, you count out loud. It is required that you alternate hands. For example, if your left hand is palm side down during the first part of the test, it will be palm side up during the second half of the test.

Finger-to-Nose Test

With this test you are required to tilt your head back and close your eyes. The police officer then instructs you to place your index finger on your nose six times.

Rhomberg Balance Test

You have to stand with your feet together. You tilt your head slightly then close your eyes. The police officer will ask you to let him or her know when 30 seconds has passed.

Finger Count Test

You are required to hold your hands out. Your palms must face up. The police officer will then instruct you to use your thumb to touch your middle, index and little fingers. You have to also count out loud. Once finished you are required to reverse the test. For instance, you will have to touch your little finger, middle finger and index finger. You will have to do this in three sets.

Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin

When you are stopped on the suspicion of drinking and driving, be aware that you may be asked to complete non-standardized sobriety tests. They are subjective and easy to fail. It is up to the police officer to determine whether you failed or not.

In many instances, the police officer’s observation has nothing to do with whether you fail one or all of the non-standardized sobriety tests. Other things besides being under the influence of alcohol can make you fail such as:

  • A pre-existing injury.
  • Honest inability to follow instructions.
  • Wearing high heels.
  • Receiving inaccurate test instructions.
  • Being injured.
  • Being in a distracted environment.
  • Being ill.
  • Being on a slippery pavement during the test.

If you failed a non-standardized field sobriety test and are charged with DUI, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. The results of your tests may work to your advantage because these tests are not proven to be accurate or reputable. Schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. Jonathan will determine how to proceed with your case based on the procedures used and evidence available including the officer’s use of non-standardized field sobriety testing methods.