Rowland Earns Forensic Sobriety Assessment Certification
This month, Charles M. Rowland II was re-certified as Ohio’s only DUI attorney credentialed in Forensic Sobriety Assessment. “FSA certification requires working knowledge of the scientific principles and research relating to sobriety testing in a DWI / DUI stop, including:
- The scientific literature on indications of intoxication such as red eyes and slurred speach
- NHTSA’s Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
- Testing concepts: Reliability and validity
- Diagnostic statistics: False positive rates, sensitivity, specificity, etc.
- Experimental design issues relevant to sobriety test studies
- Statistical concepts such as correlation, statistical significance, and effect size
- Visual science pertaining to the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) sobriety test
- The scientific literature on sobriety tests other than the SFSTs
FSA Certification is the most advanced credential available to DUI professionals in behavioral sobriety assessment. Ideally, all attorneys, judges, and police officers who deal with DWI cases would be knowledgeable about these topics. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) trains police officers to assess intoxication, it does not provide training in important scientific topics or differential diagnosis, and does not address the many criticisms of the tests. FSA Certification is available to those who demonstrate proficiency by passing examinations in seven of the eight content areas (the module on statistical significance and effect size is currently optional).”
Dayton DUI Attorney Charles M. Rowland is the only attorney in Ohio to hold certification in Forensic Sobriety Assessment and he has been trained in the administration and evaluation of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in the same methods that law enforcement officers are trained to use. Because of this training he is qualified to challenge the administration of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test at a motion to suppress hearing or at your DUI trial. The HGN is a test of your eyes wherein the testing officer is looking for abnormal movements call saccades. These movements make the eye appear to bounce or wobble. The officer uses this movement to make a correlation to alcohol use. Listed below, however, are some other scientifically recognized causes of nystagmus.
Nystagmus Terms at a Glance
- Vestibular nystagmus: caused by movement or action in the vestibu1ar system (inner ear); four kinds: rotational, post-rotational, caloric and positional alcohol
- Rotational nystagmus: occurs when a person is spun around
- Post-rotational nystagmus: occurs when a person stops spiruring around
- Caloric nystagmus: occurs when liquids of varying temperatures are put in opposing ear canals
- Positional Alcohol Nystagmus: caused when alcohol alters the specific gravity of the blood versus the vestibular fluid
- Neurological nystagmus: consisting of optokinetic, physiological and gaze nystagmus
- Optokinetic nystagmus: occurs when eyes fixate on objects that suddenly move or when eyes view sharply contrasting images
- Physiological nystagmus: naturally occurring to avoid eye strain; normally too subtle to observe
- Gaze nystagmus: occurs when a person’s eyes move from a center position; three types: horizontal, vertical and resting.