Non-standardized Tests

Posted on September 12, 2014

Non-standardized Tests

A DUI attorney in Redwood City explains ways that non-standardized tests may be used during a DUI stop—and why they are unreliable.

Handwriting Test

In certain studies, handwriting changes have been observed at every level of intoxication, which suggests that a handwriting test may be a useful way to gauge the sobriety or intoxication of a suspect during a DUI stop. As any experienced DUI attorney in Redwood City can tell you, however, many other studies contradict this finding. The main sticking point is that none of the changes that occur to a person’s handwriting can be conclusively attributed to the effects of alcohol consumption alone. Even after one study involving 35 men and women whose handwriting was tested before consuming alcohol and after, researchers concluded that handwriting can’t be used in any meaningful way to determine a person’s blood alcohol content. Furthermore, an officer who has stopped someone under suspicion of DUI won’t have access to the person’s “normal” handwriting, so this test simply isn’t practical.

Hand Pat Test

In this test, a subject places one hand with the palm facing up in front of him on a flat surface. He is then asked to place his other hand on top with the palm facing down. The officer will then ask him to pat the bottom hand with the top hand one time and to then rotate the top hand 180 degrees. The back of the top hand is now facing the bottom hand. The suspect is then asked to pat the bottom hand with the back of the top hand. During the test, the suspect is asked to increase the speed at which he rotates his top hand, and he continues until the officer directs him to stop.

This is widely regarded to be a failure-designed test because, as the speed increases, most people end up double-patting, chopping or rolling their top hand. If you were asked to perform this test, be sure to tell an experienced DUI attorney in Redwood City.

Coin Test

This test simply involves picking up several coins from a flat surface with one hand. As with the hand pat test, however, this is considered to be a failure-designed exercise. However, officers sometimes use it when suspects claim they can’t do field sobriety tests standing up due to bad knees, legs or backs. When you hire a Redwood City DUI law firm to help with your case, they will want to know if you were asked to perform this kind of test.

Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney in Redwood City

Regardless of the circumstances of your DUI arrest of the types of FSTs you were asked to perform, it’s crucial to contact a reputable Redwood City DUI law firm as soon as possible. Call Silveira Law at (415) 795-3890 now.