Is It Possible to Pass a Field Sobriety Test? Law Enforcement Is Permitted to Grade a Driver with a Failing Mark If They Witness Two Clues of Intoxication

Dale Naticchia: After being stopped by law enforcement, you’re scared to death. You’ve got the blue and whites flashing on you.  A lot of times weather conditions can influence performance, especially if it’s raining or it’s cold or it’s windy.

They have you perform actions that are quite unnatural. The way they grade those tests makes it very difficult to pass—the officers only look for two clues and you’re out of luck.

I’ll give you, I’ll tell you these tests not only are they hard physically to do; they’re so unnatural, as an example, I’ll give you the instructions for the walk and turn.

What I want you to do is stand with your right heel touching you left toe, keeping your arms to your side. I want you to hold that position until I tell you to begin. When I tell you to do so I want you to take is nine heel-to-toe steps, counting each step out loud. You must keep your arms to your side as instructed.

When you reach your ninth step what I want you to do is take several small steps pivoting on your front foot and then return the same way keeping your arms to your side, counting each step out loud. Do you understand my instructions?

They don’t give them quite that rapid-fire but when you’re under the gun, it is difficult to follow the rules. Oh! You forgot to keep your arms to your side. You raised them for balance, like people do when they’re walking a tight rope, okay? That’s a clue.

Oh, he didn’t turn. He didn’t turn correctly. He just pivoted, and didn’t take several small steps. That is two clues. You’ve flunked.

By Dale Naticchia