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Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > Posts tagged "roadside tests"

Defending Against Poor Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Failing the Roadside Field Sobriety Tests Is Not Conclusive In this short video, available at the Dayton DUI YouTube channel, I give an important analogy about interpreting the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given as part of most DUI arrests. Without proper context, you can be made to appear drunk and have your performance used against you. If you find yourself accused of drunk driving, contact DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II today. ...

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What Is A Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test?

What is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test? Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant affecting many of the higher as well as lower motor control systems of the body. This results in poor motor coordination, sluggish reflexes, and emotional instability. The part of the nervous system that fine-tunes and controls hand movements and body posture also controls eye movements. When intoxicated, a person's nervous system will display a breakdown in the smooth and accurate control of eye movements. This breakdown in the smooth control of eye movement may result in the inability to hold the eyes steady, resulting in a number...

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Phase Two: The Personal Contact Phase

An officer's decision to arrest for DUI involves three steps: observing the vehicle in motion, observing the driver during a personal contact phase, and administering field sobriety tests.  Evidence is collected at each stage.  If, after conducting all three phases, the officer believes probable cause exists that you are impaired, you will then be arrested.  Probable cause is a flexible, common-sense standard. It merely requires that the facts available to the officer would 'warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief,' Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 162 (1925), that you are impaired; it does not demand any showing that...

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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests – An Infographic

This info graphic describes the science behind the standardized field sobriety tests (spoiler alert: There isn't much).  Field Sobriety Tests are commonly known as the roadside activities that police officers ask drivers to perform if the officer suspects that the driver is impaired by alcohol or another impairing substance. We call them “stupid human tricks.”  Contrary to popular understanding and belief, many of these tests have little basis in science, and the ones that do are frequently performed incorrectly.You are also subjected to a great variance in the officer’s understanding of the tests and his or her ability to competently administer...

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Changes To Ohio’s Field Sobriety Test Manual – Part One

Ohio has adopted a new Field Sobriety Test manual as of 2013.  This post is part of a multi-article look at the Field Sobriety Test manual changes.1. Let's Change The Name The first change to the Field Sobriety Test manual is the name.  Prior to this year the training class for law enforcement officers studying the Field Sobriety Test regimen was called A.D.A.P. (Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program) and used the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "manual."  The new class will simply be called Field Sobriety Test or SFST class and will use a "guide."Remaining from the previous training materials is...

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There’s A New Standardized Field Sobriety Tests “Guide”

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are commonly known as the roadside activities that police officers ask drivers to perform if the officer suspects that the driver is impaired by alcohol or another impairing substance. We call them "stupid human tricks."  Contrary to popular understanding and belief, many of these tests have little basis in science, and the ones that do are frequently performed incorrectly.NHTSA has developed a new "GUIDE" in assessing Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.  The new (March, 2013) version focuses more on having law enforcement recognize and administer tests to determine impaired driving by substances other than alcohol.  No new scientific studies...

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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: They Don’t Work

The National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration’s standardized field sobriety tests were developed based on a 1977 study. The subjects of this study had blood alcohol content levels ranging from zero to .15 percent. Though there was such a large different between the test subjects, there was a 47 percent error rate in determining a person’s impairment after administering the standardized field sobriety tests. 47%! This means that almost half of the people were misidentified by police officers as being drunk when in fact they were not. What is worse, one of the researchers agreed that the tests are problematic...

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What Are (And What Are Not) Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The dream of implementing Standardized Field Sobriety Tests has long been a goal of law enforcement.  Extensive government testing was begun in the 1970's to determine a scientifically valid way of helping police officers detect intoxication in drivers under suspicion of drunk driving.  Prior to this undertaking, officers were doing their best to gather evidence of drunk driving, or simply not arresting for the offense due to the difficulty of proving impairment in court.  Some more ingenious tests included throwing coins on ground; if the suspect could pick them up without falling over, they must be sober.  Other popular tests that...

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OVI Law: The Officer Can Testify Even If He/She Was Incompetent

Imagine for a moment that you are stopped for suspicion of drunk driving.  The officer asks you out of the vehicle and begins to administer "standardized field sobriety tests."  You start to notice that the officer is unsure of himself.  Maybe he/she give contradictory instructions or stops you and tells you to do it a different way.  As the tests proceed you begin to fear that the officer does not know how to properly administer the tests.  Surely, this will not be used against you in court, right?It is the burden of the state to demonstrate the admissibility of the...

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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests; the walk & turn test

The Trooper gave me a “walk the line” test.  What was he looking for? The Walk & Turn test is a divided attention test that is used as part of the three-test battery of field sobriety tests.  The officer will observe your performance on this test, looking for eight (8) clues of impairment.  You will be deemed to have failed the test if you present just two (2) of the eight (8) clues.  According to NHTSA, the Walk & Turn test is 68% accurate in determining alcohol intoxication above 0.10% BAC (when two or more clues are present).  See generally 2006...

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