Copyright 2019 Dayton DUI.
All Rights Reserved.

9:00 - 17:00

Our Opening Hours Mon. - Fri.



OVI Menu

How To Cheat On The Finger To Nose Test

Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > DUI Law  > Drugs & Alcohol  > How To Cheat On The Finger To Nose Test

How To Cheat On The Finger To Nose Test

finger to nose testThe finger to nose test is making a comeback.  In 1977, a study was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wanted to see if the tests being conducted by police officers were actually indicative of impairment.

Marcelline Burns and Herbert Moskowitz conducted laboratory evaluations of several of the tests that were most frequently-used by law enforcement officers at the time (Burns and Moskowitz, 1977). In addition to a variety of customary roadside tests (e.g., finger-to-nose, maze tracing, backward counting), the researchers evaluated measures of an autonomic reaction to central nervous system depressants, known as Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

Out of the dozens of different tests then in use, the researchers identified three-the walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests-as the most accurate, practical, and reliable tests for enforcement purposes. A subsequent 1981 study developed a standardized set of administration and scoring principles intended to promote consistency in the use of these tests.

So, why are we talking about the finger to nose test?  Well, it seems that NHTSA is not done looking for physical tests that can predict impairment (i.e. stupid human tricks).  The test is making a comeback due to its inclusion in the latest government mumbo-jumbo called the Drug Recognition Expert protocol.

Ohio is making the transition to using the Drug Recognition Expert protocol in apprehending and prosecuting impaired drivers.   DRE refers not only to the officers themselves, but to the 12-step procedure that these officers use. DRE was developed by police officers from the Los Angeles (California) Police Department. In 1979, the Drug Recognition program received the official recognition of the LAPD.  On October 22, 2010, Ohio became the 48th state to be accepted into the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP). Once approved by the IACP’s DECP Highway Safety Committee, Ohio was eligible to provide the DRE training.  Ohio graduated their first DRE class in October, 2011.  “I am pleased this training is being offered to our law enforcement partners,” said Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) Executive Director Karhlton Moore. “This will be an invaluable resource in our fight to curb impaired driving, as well as focus on emerging issues such as the prescription drug epidemic currently affecting so many communities across Ohio.” [Source]  In July, I spoke with Sgt. Wes Stought of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who oversees the Ohio DRE program at the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association.  He states that the program is moving forward with a goal of full implementation in every county.

The DRE program is a traffic-safety program that focuses on the detection, apprehension and adjudication of drug-impaired drivers. A DRE is a police officer who is trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. A DRE undergoes specialized training in detecting and identifying the category or categories of drugs causing the impairment. The process is based on observable signs and symptoms that are known to be reliable indicators of drug impairment.

12 Steps of the Drug Evaluation Process

  1. Breath Alcohol Test – A sample of breath is taken from the test subject to determine the concentration of alcohol, if any, in the test subject.
  2. Interview of Arresting Officer – The DRE consults with the investigator(s) to determine the circumstances leading up to the apprehension of the test subject.
  3. Preliminary Examination – Initial examination of the subject. Some questions are asked in relation to the subject’s medical/physical limitations.
  4. Eye Examination – Eyes are examined for pupils being equal, the ability of the eyes to track a stimulus equally, to monitor the smoothness of that tracking, to look for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, as well as Vertical Gaze Nystagmus.
  5. Divided Attention Tests – One Leg Stand is done with both legs. Walk and Turn test is done. Modified Romberg Balance test. And Finger to Nose test is done.
  6. Examination of Vital Signs – Blood pressure, pulse and body temperature is taken.
  7. Dark Room Examinations – Examination of the pupil sizes in near total darkness, under direct light, and in normal room light. Examination of the oral and nasal cavities are done at the same time.
  8. Examination of Muscle Tone – Flexion and Extension of the muscles are tested, to see if there is flaccidity, or rigidity of the muscles.
  9. Examination of Injection Sites – Examination of common injection sites to determine if the subject is using injected substances.
  10. Suspects Statements / Other Observations – Soliciting information from the test subject which will corroborate signs and symptoms that the evaluator has observed.
  11. Opinion of the Evaluator – The DRE makes a determination of the class or classes of drugs that a subject is under the influence based on a matrix of symptomology that has been developed during studies of subjects under the influence of known classes of drugs.
  12. The Toxicological Examination – Blood, saliva or urine is obtained by demand, which is analyzed to determine what class of substances are present that corroborates the DRE’s opinion.

7 Drug Categories

  1. Central Nervous System Depressants
  2. Inhalants
  3. Dissociative Anesthetics
  4. Cannabis
  5. Central Nervous System Stimulants
  6. Hallucinogens
  7. Narcotic Analgesics


To successfully pass the finger to nose test, you must stand feet together and arms raised horizontally at a 90 degree angle. With both eyes closed, you will be asked to extend your hands—one at a time—directly in front of your body. Keeping your arm bent at the elbow, you must then touch your nose with the tip of your finger before returning your arm to your side.

So, if you find yourself being evaluated by an alleged “expert” in drug recognition, and he/she asks you to do a finger to nose test, simply scratch your nose HARD prior to the test.  The nerve endings at the end of your nose will help you find the tip of your nose  and pass the test.  While this seems silly, it is just as silly to rely on this stupid test to ruin people’s lives by using it to convict them of impaired driving.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information on the finger to nose test check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandalia, MiamisburgMiamisburgHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville


Charles Rowland


Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.