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Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:16:06 PM EDT
9 out of 10 times, If the alphabet test is needed, you start at D and stop at X. Usually they can't even say it A to Z.


Dont drink and Drive!
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:19:03 PM EDT
Thanks for the info everyone.  The alcohol education program I was given in high school was so terrible, I wouldn't be surprised if a few people got a DWAI because of the misinformation they propagated.

(They told us that each drink added .02% to BAC, but its really more like .025% if you weigh less than an average weight male.  They said that your liver eliminates .02% BAC per hour, but again its really more like .015% unless your liver is well trained.  And they barely mentioned the .05% DWAI limit at all, they just talked about the .08% DWI limit.  etc)
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:26:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
Thanks for the info everyone.  The alcohol education program I was given in high school was so terrible, I wouldn't be surprised if a few people got a DWAI because of the misinformation they propagated.

(They told us that each drink added .02% to BAC, but its really more like .025% if you weigh less than an average weight male.  They said that your liver eliminates .02% BAC per hour, but again its really more like .015% unless your liver is well trained.  And they barely mentioned the .05% DWAI limit at all, they just talked about the .08% DWI limit.  etc)


since you are HS age, and the program was for teens, I'll ask if your state has a zero tolerance law for younger drivers.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:27:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:
Originally Posted By Jace:
No, its not part of the Standardized Field Sobriety test.  Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One-Leg stand, are the three test that are used during standardized field sobriety testing..I prefere to use the word demonstration in place of the word test when writing my DUI arrest reports .....


This is the correct answer. SFST is the gold standard.

I am not familiar with word demo or word test, we never did that.

We would also ask the subject to close their eyes, tip the head back and observe the amount of front to back and side to side sway. Had plenty of folks almost drop at this point...

-Z

"Standard" FST will vary from state to state. Maybe for the newer guys HGN is standard coming out of the basic school, but it wasn't when I went through. I use walk and turn, finger to nose and a modified alphabet, plus the alcosensor, which is just another FST and has no bearing in court.
The question about Breathalyzers being off.....thats not correct. You might have a difference between a breath and blood test done on teh same guy because the BAC was going up or down between tests.
Oh, and the "Breathalyzer" itself as a name brand piece of equipment has been out of service for a decade now in a lot of places.



Greeting 1/2way across the globe...

Not sure when you went through, but I did over ten years ago, so not really a new guy. Not that that means a thing.

HGN has the highest correlation to being able to identify a drunk as any field test. There is excellent data and science behind it.

By gold standared I meant the three tests mentioned are what NHTSA has correlative data on and recommends. Good science in other words. NHTSA's position is that other tests are not as reliable predictors of intoxication.

Unfortunately, I can't speak to what other states do or what they teach or what is accepted as good evidence.

If there is data on the alphabet and the finger thing I haven't seen it, but am always interested in learning.

Stay safe.

-Z






Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:29:36 PM EDT
don't know if it is or not. i used to practice while drinking though just to see if i could. it's not hard after lots of practice......even with alot of alcohol in your system......

and no, i don't condone drunk driving. hate it in fact.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:42:45 PM EDT
I can do it drunk or sober. Forwards and backwards.

I did get a sobriety check once (which I passed) and they had me do the alphabet thing only instead of backwards or forwards they started me on a letter.  H I believe and I was to continue from there.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:12:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
Thanks for the info everyone.  The alcohol education program I was given in high school was so terrible, I wouldn't be surprised if a few people got a DWAI because of the misinformation they propagated.

(They told us that each drink added .02% to BAC, but its really more like .025% if you weigh less than an average weight male.  They said that your liver eliminates .02% BAC per hour, but again its really more like .015% unless your liver is well trained.  And they barely mentioned the .05% DWAI limit at all, they just talked about the .08% DWI limit.  etc)


since you are HS age, and the program was for teens, I'll ask if your state has a zero tolerance law for younger drivers.


i've been out of highschool for half a decade.  That's just the info they gave us back then.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:14:18 PM EDT
I've never heard of that...


Should I practice it drunk, just in case?
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:25:13 PM EDT
I call bullshit on anyone saying that reciting the alphabet backwards is used as a modern field sobriety test.

You say you saw an officer do it your friend?  Bullshit.

You saw it on COPS?  Bullshit.

It happened to you?  Bullshit.

I can believe that there might be some sadistic bastard out there with a badge that does it on occasion for laughs, but for legitimately establishing PC to arrest?  Bullshit.

HGN, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand are the generally recognized battery of tests. Here, when winter weather may play a factor in preventing standardized testing, some guys may still use finger dexterity, alphabet (forward, E to Q or something similar), or counting backwards (from say 97 to 72).  They do this to have some articulable means of establishing PC and they can have the driver perform them while seated in a car rather than out in a raging blizzard.

But again, the alphabet backwards?  In case you missed it....Bullshit.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:28:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Garage-Logician:
I call bullshit on anyone saying that reciting the alphabet backwards is used as a modern field sobriety test.

You say you saw an officer do it your friend?  Bullshit.

You saw it on COPS?  Bullshit.

It happened to you?  Bullshit.

I can believe that there might be some sadistic bastard out there with a badge that does it on occasion for laughs, but for legitimately establishing PC to arrest?  Bullshit.

HGN, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand are the generally recognized battery of tests. Here, when winter weather may play a factor in preventing standardized testing, some guys may still use finger dexterity, alphabet (forward, E to Q or something similar), or counting backwards (from say 97 to 72).  They do this to have some articulable means of establishing PC and they can have the driver perform them while seated in a car rather than out in a raging blizzard.

But again, the alphabet backwards?  In case you missed it....Bullshit.



Chill out.  I heard a rumor, and i'm trying to confirm it here.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:29:09 PM EDT
True story.  

Growing up, the lady who lived across from my grand parents could recite it backwards in a few seconds (obviously rote memorization just like we all learn it forward).

When she died (at 103) she could still do it.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:36:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
Originally Posted By Garage-Logician:
I call bullshit on anyone saying that reciting the alphabet backwards is used as a modern field sobriety test.

You say you saw an officer do it your friend?  Bullshit.

You saw it on COPS?  Bullshit.

It happened to you?  Bullshit.

I can believe that there might be some sadistic bastard out there with a badge that does it on occasion for laughs, but for legitimately establishing PC to arrest?  Bullshit.

HGN, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand are the generally recognized battery of tests. Here, when winter weather may play a factor in preventing standardized testing, some guys may still use finger dexterity, alphabet (forward, E to Q or something similar), or counting backwards (from say 97 to 72).  They do this to have some articulable means of establishing PC and they can have the driver perform them while seated in a car rather than out in a raging blizzard.

But again, the alphabet backwards?  In case you missed it....Bullshit.



Chill out.  I heard a rumor, and i'm trying to confirm it here.


No need to chill, I'm not angry, just trying to put this myth to bed.  None of that was directed at you.  It was directed at those that are reinforcing the notion that this actually takes place.  It doesn't. (Again, unless it's some sadistic LEO doing it for laughs)
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:38:13 PM EDT
I think the object to the backwards alphabet test is not to hear the alphabet backwards, but to see how the testee responds to the test. A sober person would probably recite it in a generally accurate backwards order, taking time to think about the next letters, and a drunk person would probably be all over the place going from the middle to the end to the beginning.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:48:38 PM EDT
definatly now using it backwards, When I have had to use it I ask the person to go from D as in Dog to P as in Paul without singing, more of a test of their memory than their alphabet skills,  (most forget to stop at P if they are DK)

We will also use backwards counting say from 87 to 55. Again it is a test of thier ability to follow directions while focused on the counting.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:00:19 PM EDT
These days, I would have to ask the officer for a laptop first....
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:03:02 PM EDT
Not policy in my Dept.

Never heard of it in any Dept. here.

Kind of stupid when some folks can't even do it sober.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:14:18 PM EDT
This is a 20 minute video of a DUI stop resulting in arrest. The person is Randy Wilkinson, a Polk County Commisioner.

After he was arrested and taken to LPD, he was given a breath test which he blew 0.00 both times, and was still hauled off to jail charged with DUI.

Law Enforcment does not care too much for Randy because of his outspoken questioning of LEO budget spending and waste.

The State Attorney dropped the DUI. Watch this.


http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=428944320&channel=294434711
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:23:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Scooter4736:
This is a 20 minute video of a DUI stop resulting in arrest. The person is Randy Wilkinson, a Polk County Commisioner.

After he was arrested and taken to LPD, he was given a breath test which he blew 0.00 both times, and was still hauled off to jail charged with DUI.

Law Enforcment does not care too much for Randy because of his outspoken questioning of LEO budget spending and waste.

The State Attorney dropped the DUI. Watch this.


http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=428944320&channel=294434711


he blew 0.00%?  Did he test positive for benzos, barbituates, dissociatives or any other drug which might mimic the effects of alcohol?
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:29:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tommytrauma:
Here it is in use;

http://www.truveo.com/DUI-Sobriety-Test/id/46293832




"You a dancer?"


"No. I'm just drunk!"


Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:54:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
Originally Posted By Scooter4736:
This is a 20 minute video of a DUI stop resulting in arrest. The person is Randy Wilkinson, a Polk County Commisioner.

After he was arrested and taken to LPD, he was given a breath test which he blew 0.00 both times, and was still hauled off to jail charged with DUI.

Law Enforcment does not care too much for Randy because of his outspoken questioning of LEO budget spending and waste.

The State Attorney dropped the DUI. Watch this.


http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=428944320&channel=294434711


he blew 0.00%?  Did he test positive for benzos, barbituates, dissociatives or any other drug which might mimic the effects of alcohol?



None. He doesn't use drugs. I don't know if you watched the entire video, but as he was being arrested, he asked to be taken to the hospital immediately for a test, which was denied.

The story is this: He had been out all day with a friend putting out campaign signs, and it happened to be raining that day.

He stopped at a Walgreens to buy a bottle of water when an off-duty Lakeland Police Officer working security saw that he was wet (thought he urinated in his pants) and called an officer via radio whe she saw him leave the store.

I have never met the man but I do know two members of his family (first cousin and her husband). They said that is the way he has always been. Kinda sluggish, but we are all different.

Link Posted: 11/21/2008 8:55:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ShamusMcOI:
don't know if it is or not. i used to practice while drinking though just to see if i could. it's not hard after lots of practice......even with alot of alcohol in your system......

and no, i don't condone drunk driving. hate it in fact.


so im not the only one who practices?
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 9:02:40 PM EDT
I was asked to recite the alphabet backwards from "L" to "B". I started and then said "Wait, What letter did you want me to go to again?" Which garnered this response: "Sir, Please step out of the vehicle."
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 9:12:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Trying to catch up. PBT not admissable, IMO a crutch for certain officers weak in doing FST's. PBT has no time line because results are not admissable in court. Officer must observe suspect for at least 20 minutes before doing Draeger or Intox 5000 etc. for BAC goes to court.


So, considering what I've read here, inquiring minds want to know:
If they are seldom used, inaccurate, and inadmissable, why do PDs waste the money on equipping with them at all?
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 9:13:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tommytrauma:
Here it is in use;

http://www.truveo.com/DUI-Sobriety-Test/id/46293832


There ya go I guess if anybody thinks Reno 911 is real life then yeah, it's used in sobriety tests!
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 9:30:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BigRoost:
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Trying to catch up. PBT not admissable, IMO a crutch for certain officers weak in doing FST's. PBT has no time line because results are not admissable in court. Officer must observe suspect for at least 20 minutes before doing Draeger or Intox 5000 etc. for BAC goes to court.


So, considering what I've read here, inquiring minds want to know:
If they are seldom used, inaccurate, and inadmissable, why do PDs waste the money on equipping with them at all?



They may be admissible..... each state is different. Bamas 20 min observation time is 5 minutes longer then the machines require.




Link Posted: 11/22/2008 12:47:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RDP:
Originally Posted By BigRoost:
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Trying to catch up. PBT not admissable, IMO a crutch for certain officers weak in doing FST's. PBT has no time line because results are not admissable in court. Officer must observe suspect for at least 20 minutes before doing Draeger or Intox 5000 etc. for BAC goes to court.


So, considering what I've read here, inquiring minds want to know:
If they are seldom used, inaccurate, and inadmissable, why do PDs waste the money on equipping with them at all?



They may be admissible..... each state is different. Bamas 20 min observation time is 5 minutes longer then the machines require.









In AL, the fact that it was used and the fact that it indicated a positive result are admissible.  The numerical value is not generally admitted.  It has been done, and I have had a few cases where I was able to get the number in.  They are not that inaccurate either.  However they do generally have a margin of error of +/- 5% (according to the ones that we are issued.)  All that is required to get a numerical result into court is a record of maintenance, yearly training in proper use, proof of calibration, and an observation period.  However most don't do it.

The reason that you should not skip right to a PBT is because not only may it cause you to think the subject is really drunk if it returns a high number, but also if it returns a very low number you may have decided the subject is perfectly fine to drive.  A person that blows a .03 isn't too intoxicated by alcohol, but if the same person had also just taken 2 Xanax and drank the beer to swallow them we may have a problem.  If you do not do the FST's though, you would not know that there is something else there causing the impairment.

As for the 20 minute DEPRIVATION period it is the policy of the Dept of Forensic Sciences to ensure that there is no chance that something the subject has placed into his mouth will have an affect on the results of the Drager.  I say deprivation because there is a huge difference between deprivation and observation.  Observation means that I would have to sit and watch you for 20 minutes.  Deprivation just means that I have to deprive you of the ability to place anything in your mouth.  Handcuffed in the backseat of my car qualifies as deprivation.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 12:52:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
Can someone educate me on the purpose of sobriety tests?  If you have enough probable cause to pull someone out of the car and perform sobriety tests, don't you also have enough probable cause to just give 'em the breathylizer?  Or is the breathylizer considered a search of some sort and requires a higher standard of evidence?


Just because they are driving crappy doesn't mean they are under the influence they may just be a crappy driver with crummy vision.  The additional test allow you to eliminate sober shitty drivers, some with some medical conditions and also if it goes to trial gives you a lot more ammunition to use instead of allowing a defense attorney to ask questions about why the tests weren't administered.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 1:57:02 AM EDT
the PbT is just another FST... I use that along with other FST's to determine DUI or not.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 2:13:50 AM EDT
I have a question, does pupil dilation give probable cause to take the situation one step further?
I know that certain narcotics effect the dilation of the pupil, but is it enough evidence to warrant a sobriety test or car search? A friend told me that an officer shined hi slight in his eyes and then asked to search his vehicle on that alone, I called bullshit, is this true?
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 2:15:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:


Greeting 1/2way across the globe...

Not sure when you went through, but I did over ten years ago, so not really a new guy. Not that that means a thing.

HGN has the highest correlation to being able to identify a drunk as any field test. There is excellent data and science behind it.

By gold standared I meant the three tests mentioned are what NHTSA has correlative data on and recommends. Good science in other words. NHTSA's position is that other tests are not as reliable predictors of intoxication.

Unfortunately, I can't speak to what other states do or what they teach or what is accepted as good evidence.

If there is data on the alphabet and the finger thing I haven't seen it, but am always interested in learning.

Stay safe.


I understand the value of HGN from what fellow officers who went through the training tell me, but as I said, when i went through, it wasn't taught as part of the standard course of instruction.
From my experience, its pretty easy to determine intoxication, if not as accurate a BAC as HGN gives you, from the alphabet. As someone above mentioned, you modify it from standard A-Z that the drunks will practice singing, to a partial recitation that requires thinking. Drunks cant do it.
My roughest arrest was a one armed one legged woman; as you can imagine, walk and turn and finger...I mean claw..to nose were not an option. Mine was her second DWI that week, and the trials were a week apart. Convicted twice in one week for different DWIs didn't do her any favors.....
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 7:55:59 AM EDT
I've a healthy looking middle aged guy who looks fit. I hyperextended both of my knees. Broken my right ankle in three spots. Broken my back. Plus a few other good hits to the body. If I was asked to do most of the items on the fst I would fall over. anytime of the day.

My wife has MS and uses a cane, If she's in the car I'll tell the officer that it's mine!
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 8:03:30 AM EDT
15-20 years ago is was a common roadside sobriety test in NC and AK.  I've done it twice (passed both times) and know lots of others that have had to do it with varying degrees of success.

The best one - as in most likely to trip up the suspect - is the count backwards from 100 to X by fives (where X = 65 or some other number higher than zero).  Most folks get to counting and forget to stop.

I've done the roadside sobriety thing three times.  Was arrested and charged once and have never been convicted of DUI.
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