Hey there, welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’ve been talking about roadside sobriety tests here at The Kronek Firm, and what the cops will expect you to do if they pull you over for suspected drunk driving. In the previous article we looked at three commonly used roadside sobriety tests, including having you touch your nose with your eyes closed, stand on one leg without falling over, and tracking an object side to side with your eyes and without losing focus. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are loads more tests cops like to do when they think you’ve had one too many. However, to be very clear, you have no obligation to agree to take those roadside sobriety tests. There are no civil and no criminal penalties for refusing to do those field sobriety tests. Now that you understand that, here are some other tests they like to use:
- The Finger Tapping Test
This is also sometimes called the Finger Counting Test. It’s where a police officer tells you to hold out one of your hands, palm facing up, and count out your fingers one by one by touching the tip of each finger to the tip of your thumb. You have to count out loud as you go, going backwards and forwards through the numbers for three consecutive sets. In other words: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1. If you miss numbers, struggle to touch your own fingertips, or stop before you’ve completed the right number of sets, you could be headed for the county lock-up in Lansing, Brighton, Jackson or Howell!
- The Walk-and-Turn Test (WAT)
This is another commonly used roadside sobriety test, sometimes called “walking the line.” An officer asks a suspected drunk driver to take nine heel-to-toe steps, while watching their feet and counting the steps out loud. Once you reach the ninth step, you’re asked to pivot in place and take another nine steps back to your starting point. Essentially, you’re being asked to divide your attention by doing several things at once. It sounds simple, but this can be tricky even for sober people, and for intoxicated folks it’s practically impossible!
- The Rhomberg Balance Test
Here the officer tells you to stand up straight with your eyes closed and your head tilted back. You have to stay in that position and silently estimate how long it takes for 30 seconds to go by. Sounds so easy, right? And it probably would be… if you were sober! But if you’ve been drinking it can be lot tougher to achieve. Drunk or drugged people tend to lose track of time, and often struggle to stay upright (and sometimes even fall over while doing the Rhomberg balance test!).
There are loads of other tests Michigan cops use to check sobriety!
The roadside sobriety tests we’ve looked at so far are pretty common, but they aren’t the only ones cops use here in Michigan to check if you’ve been drinking. Tests like clapping to a beat, counting backwards, and reciting the alphabet (not backwards, usually) are all used as well. But remember, the assessment made by cops about your sobriety is started long before you step out of your car to do your performing monkey routine. In fact, the first thing officers often notice is the smell of alcohol on your breath when you’re speaking to them (which is hard to hide, even with good quality breath mints!)
If you need help with a drunk driving arrest in Mid Michigan, we’re here 24/7!
The best advice we can give you when it comes to roadside sobriety tests and interactions with the police, is DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! However, if you’ve already made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a few too many, you’re going to need the help of a skilled DUI defense attorney. So call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because we understand that life (and legal troubles) continue beyond business hours.