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  1. #1
    Grandmaster Rookie's Avatar

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    Field sobriety test question

    Watching live pd...

    The guy had to hold his foot up and count. I know I couldn't maintain my balance and I haven't had a drink in ages. Is it just maintaining balance, or is it being able to follow all the details that the officer is telling him to do?

  2. #2
    Grandmaster Denny347's Avatar

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    It's a divided attention test. Balance is only part of it. Being able to count while maintaining balance and follow directions given.
    On the other side of fear lies freedom.

  3. #3
    Grandmaster SmileDocHill's Avatar

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    Some of those sobriety tests are rather difficult for an old guy like me with bouts of vertigo and balance that is NOTHING like it used to be. Officer asked me to do a combination of things once, I said "I can't even do that sober!"
    Putting firearms' contribution back in our history makes a more complete telling. Teaching marksmanship in that context deepens the understanding. Revere's Riders, because history involved guns!

  4. #4
    Grandmaster Rookie's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Denny347 View Post
    It's a divided attention test. Balance is only part of it. Being able to count while maintaining balance and follow directions given.
    So, assuming someone could follow directions, losing balance isn't an automatic failure?

  5. #5
    Grandmaster Denny347's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie View Post
    So, assuming someone could follow directions, losing balance isn't an automatic failure?
    Clues we are looking for
    1. Swaying
    2. Uses arms to balance
    3. Hopping
    4. Puts foot down
    2 or more is a failure
    On the other side of fear lies freedom.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster DoggyDaddy's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie View Post
    So, assuming someone could follow directions, losing balance isn't an automatic failure?
    You should practice these tests just to be sure...


  7. #7
    Grandmaster Denny347's Avatar

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    For SFST's to be valid, these instructions need to be followed and the tests given in this same order.

    Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Instructions (HGN)
    1. I am going to check your eyes. (Please remove your glasses)
    2. Keep your head still and follow the stimulus with your eyes only. 3. Do not move your head. 4. Do you understand the instructions?


    Walk and Turn Instructions (WAT)
    1. Put your left foot on the line and put your right foot in front of it with your right heel touching
    your left toe. Keep your hands at your side. (Demonstrate)
    2. Do not start until I tell you to. 3. Do you understand the directions?
    4. When I tell you to begin, take nine heel to toe steps on the line, turn around keeping one foot
    on the line, and return nine heel to toe steps. (Demonstrate heel-to-toe; three steps is
    sufficient)
    5. On the ninth step, keep the front foot on the line and turn by taking several small steps with
    the other foot. (Demonstrate turn)
    6. While walking, watch your feet at all times, keep arms at side, count steps out loud. Once you
    begin, do not stop until test is completed. 7. Do you understand the instructions?
    8. You may begin the test.

    One-leg Stand Instructions (OLS)
    1. Stand with your heels together and your arms at your side. (Demonstrate)
    2. Do not begin until I tell you to. 3. Do you understand?
    4. When I tell you, I want you to raise one leg, either leg, approximately six inches off the
    ground, foot pointed out. Keep both legs straight and keep your eyes on the elevated foot. 5. While holding that position, count out loud; one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one
    thousand and three, and so forth until told to stop. (Demonstrate raised leg and count)
    6. Do you understand the instructions?
    7. You may begin the test.


    Standardized FST Clues


    Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN);
    Six clues, three for each eye. There are no specific
    clues for vertical nystagmus.
    Clues:
    1. Lack of smooth pursuit
    2. Distinct nystagmus and maximum deviation
    3. Angle of onset prior to 45 degrees



    Walk and Turn (WAT); (8 total clues, 2 in instruction phase, 6 in walking phase). Clues:
    Instruction phase:
    1. Cannot keep balance
    2. Starts to soon
    Walking Phase:
    3. Stops while walking
    4. Misses heel to toe
    5. Steps off line
    6. Uses arms to balance
    7. Improper turn
    8. Wrong number of steps


    One leg stand (OLS); (Four clues).
    1. Swaying
    2. Uses arms to balance
    3. Hopping
    4. Puts foot down
    On the other side of fear lies freedom.

  8. #8
    Kind of a Weirdo Wolfhound's Avatar

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    What happens if you fail? Breathalyzer test? If you haven't been drinking that should clear you regardless right?
    Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1 to talk to someone now or text 838255 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster CPT Nervous's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfhound View Post
    What happens if you fail? Breathalyzer test? If you haven't been drinking that should clear you regardless right?
    You are given the option of taking a chemical test. If you refuse the test, then you can be charged with OWI - Refusal. Here, we almost always do blood draws for the chemical test. If you refuse the blood draw, we get a warrant, and then we get your blood. You don't have to be drunk to be impaired.

    If you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs, then we go to another series of tests, similar to SFST's, but more involved. These are conducted by a certified Drug Recognition Expert, or DRE. Same process applies, you can submit to a chemical test, or we can get a warrant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo View Post
    I'm picturing you curbstomping yourself, ala Fight Club. All while yelling, "don't worry ma'am, he'll leave you alone after this."
    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    If you want a real vintage denim hat, you'll probably have to push a hipster off his fixed gear bicycle and, while he's collecting his PBR cans, grab it off his head and run.

  10. #10
    Kind of a Weirdo Wolfhound's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPT Nervous View Post
    You are given the option of taking a chemical test. If you refuse the test, then you can be charged with OWI - Refusal. Here, we almost always do blood draws for the chemical test. If you refuse the blood draw, we get a warrant, and then we get your blood. You don't have to be drunk to be impaired.

    If you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs, then we go to another series of tests, similar to SFST's, but more involved. These are conducted by a certified Drug Recognition Expert, or DRE. Same process applies, you can submit to a chemical test, or we can get a warrant.
    Thanks for answering my question. I think some of us worry about failing the initial test due to being old with bad knees etc. It would be a hassle to have a blood draw (I assume this would be at a hospital or clinic) but if you have nothing to hide it's simply an inconvenience.
    Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1 to talk to someone now or text 838255 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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