The Romberg Test Is a Medical Evaluation Being Used by a Lay Person as a Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Test


Website By William C. Head, PC, Georgia
Firm's Profile & Articles Law Firm's Profile & Articles
Phone Call (888) 384-4323Free ConsultationFree Consultation
Law Firm in Atlanta: William C. Head, PC
Police in America, on a NATIONAL level, have created a bogus roadside evaluation called the modified Romberg balance test. Although recently determined to not be competent evidence in Georgia in Mitchell v. State (Ga Supreme Court, 2017), it is still used by some police officers today to try to determine if a driver is intoxicated.

This psycho-physical test is also called the Rhomberg Balance Test. The NHTSA Standardized Field Tests have large error rates, for those who have consuTo understand why the modified Romberg balance test is "junk science," it helps to talk about the well-known field sobriety tests promulgated by NHTSA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The NHTSA tests are only used to evaluate drinking drivers,
FIND MORE LEGAL ARTICLES
to see if any "signs" of excessive alcohol use are shown from the three standardized field tests: HGN (DUI eye test), Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand.

The standardized field sobriety tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) or eye test, the walk and turn (WAT) or heel to toe, and the one-legged stand (OLT). Every single sobriety test that an officer requests you to perform DOES NOT legally have to be performed. These tests are VOLUNTARY! Trying to do these can only harm your chances of defeating the drunk driving charge, especially if your drunk driving case goes to trial and a jury is shown your poor performance recorded on the police video.

The Romberg test requires a driver to stand still, close his or her eyes, tilt the head back, and count silently to the number the officer gives you. It is usually 30 seconds maximum. The officer is looking for loss of balance, excessive swaying, raising your arms to steady yourself, or falling backwards. This test is especially difficult to complete when you are standing on the side of a busy road at night, on an uneven surface, with blue lights swirling in your eyes.

Marijuana DUIs are on the rise, especially as more states legalize weed. A marijuana Romberg test is instructed the same way as the NHTSA SFST tests, but the officer somehow is able to decide if you are “high” or not from this bogus modified Romberg “guess 30 seconds” test. Again, do not take this test. It only adds to the prosecutor’s junk science evidence against you in your DUI drugs case.med alcohol, but this DUI-drugs evaluation it is even more subjective than the standardized field tests. Plus, no controlled statistical studies have been created under laboratory conditions.

To understand why the modified Romberg balance test is "junk science," it helps to talk about the well-known field sobriety tests promulgated by NHTSA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The NHTSA tests are only used to evaluate drinking drivers, to see if any "signs" of excessive alcohol use are shown from the three standardized field tests: HGN (DUI eye test), Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand.

The standardized field sobriety tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) or eye test, the walk and turn (WAT) or heel to toe, and the one-legged stand (OLT). Every single sobriety test that an officer requests you to perform DOES NOT legally have to be performed. These tests are VOLUNTARY! Trying to do these can only harm your chances of defeating the drunk driving charge, especially if your drunk driving case goes to trial and a jury is shown your poor performance recorded on the police video.

The Romberg test requires a driver to stand still, close his or her eyes, tilt the head back, and count silently to the number the officer gives you. It is usually 30 seconds maximum. The officer is looking for loss of balance, excessive swaying, raising your arms to steady yourself, or falling backwards. This test is especially difficult to complete when you are standing on the side of a busy road at night, on an uneven surface, with blue lights swirling in your eyes.

Marijuana DUIs are on the rise, especially as more states legalize weed. A marijuana Romberg test is instructed the same way as the NHTSA SFST tests, but the officer somehow is able to decide if you are “high” or not from this bogus modified Romberg “guess 30 seconds” test. Again, do not take this test. It only adds to the prosecutor’s junk science evidence against you in your DUI drugs case.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William C. Head
William C. Head is a criminal defense attorney and personal injury lawyer with 41 years of litigation experience. The Atlanta DUI lawyer has authored or co-authored over a dozen books, and is Board Certified by the ABA in DUI Defense. More than 22 years ago, he started the National College for DUI Defense, and launched national DUI lawyer training for field sobriety tests and breath alcohol testing. The Georgia lawyer has handled over 200 appeals of criminal and civil cases.

Copyright William C. Head, PC - Google+
More information from William C. Head, PC

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Find a Lawyer

Find a Local Lawyer