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Tag Archives: Field Sobriety Tests

Algorithms and Infrared Detection of Drunk Drivers

  Liat Clark, a reporter for WIRED.CO.UK, wrote on  September 4, 2012 that two computer scientists have published a paper explaining that the use of two separate algorithms used in conjunction with thermal imaging may be used in the future to scan for potential drunk drivers. Georgia Koukiou and Vassilis Anastassopoulos of the University of Patras in Greece authored a paper published in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics.  The theory is based on the fact that alcohol ... Read More »

How “Expert” Are Cops at Detecting Alcohol Impairment?

The drunk driving case rests heavily upon the subjective opinions of the arresting officer — the abilities of that officer to correctly assess DUI symptoms of intoxication: observations of driving, personal symptoms (slurred speech, flushed face, etc.), answers to questions, performance on field sobriety tests. It is his DUI report (and his opinion in that report) which will largely determine what, if any, criminal charges will be filed by the prosecutor; his decision which will or will not result in ... Read More »

Are Field Sobriety Tests Designed to be Failed?

Roadside field sobriety tests (“FSTs”) are commonly used by police officers in DUI investigations to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Typically, they consist of a battery of 3-5 exercises, such as walk-and turn, one-leg stand, “nystagmus” (“follow the pencil with your eyes”), finger-to-nose, alphabet recitation, “Rohmberg” (eyes-closed-position-of-attention), etc. The officer may subjectively decide whether the individual “failed”, or he may decide after applying recent federal “standardized” scoring. These DUI tests have an aura of scientific ... Read More »

An Introduction to DUI Field Sobriety Tests

 Many people believe that every field sobriety test helps an officer determine if someone is intoxicated. This is not true. Officers may administer and reference many different types of field sobriety tests, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has validated and standardized only three to assist them in making a DUI arrest decision. Collectively these tests are often referred to as NHTSA’s Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, referred to by law enforcement officers as SFSTs, or just FSTs. It ... Read More »

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Detector?

Consumers should exercise extreme caution when using any app on a mobile computer to determine whether they are fit to drive. For instance, in late 2011, a company called Breathaleyes began marketing an app on the iTunes store that is to be used to determine whether a person is exhibiting alcohol induced horizontal gaze nystagmus. The HGN is one of the three standardized tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assist officers in determining whether a person’s ... Read More »

DUI Convictions and Breath Test: A Love Affair Gone Wrong?

On June 10, 2010 The Washington Post reported that nearly 400 drunk-driving convictions in Washington D.C. were based on flawed breath tests.  For those unfamiliar with breath tests, “trained” officers using specialized equipment perform breath tests by having the suspect blow into the machine that supposedly determines the blood alcohol level.  Police departments across the nation rely on these devices to prove your guilt.  However, these tests, like all chemical tests, are highly susceptible to human and mechanical error. In this investigation, police officers ... Read More »