WELCOME TO DUILAND! What you read below could save your life as you know it.
Utah DUI “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” (SFST) Are Crap
Because They Have Never Been Tested On Sober Individuals
What if I asked you to take a test that could determine the rest of your life, on the side of the road with traffic and I never told you how it would be scored? And then I told you that it had never been tested for the purposes we were going to use it for? To anyone but a policeman, you’d throw the middle finger. But the biggest scam in law enforcement gets away with it because people are intimidated by police. Period. Should you have taken the field tests? Not in a million years! Could you have legally refused, of course! Imagine you had no legs, what would they do, throw you on the ground and arrest you? Like every citizen you have the right to say no and you should say no every time. After all why would you want to give information against yourself in a criminal investigation. The police are going to arrest you anyway if you smell like booze and are driving a car, period – all you do with the SFST’s is give them information they didn’t have but wanted. The SFST’s exist for ONE PURPOSE ONLY: to help establish probable cause for arrest.
Why Do Police Want SFST’s? Answer: Because They Don’t Have Enough Probable Cause To Arrest You For DUI To Begin With?
Question: Is it illegal to drive and drive? Answer: No!
The cop needs to establish a reason for arresting you for DUI and he needs to demonstrate impairment, and the cops do this by administering a set of poorly designed tests, never double blind tested on sober people in traffic on the side of the road – and hearing the instructions under intimidating conditions to boot!
Question: When a cop stops you for a traffic infraction (which is how 90% of all DUI’s start) why in the world doesn’t he just arrest you ?
Answer: Because you weren’t impaired and you were driving just fine before that – except for the speeding, turn signal, busted license plate light that they stopped you for in the first place. You NEVER had to perform those DUI field tests!! The cop conned you into taking those because he needed more information/proof that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs! YOU SHOULD HAVE AND COULD HAVE SAID NO! (But ALWAYS Yes! To Any breath or blood tests after the arrest!)
Question: Dave, are you saying that I should have refused to do the field tests the cop told me I had to take to prove I was sober ?
Answer: Yes. Because if you weren’t impaired to begin with the cop is going to find impairment based on your performance no matter how well you do, and second because if you were impaired the field tests only serve to give them more information to prove that with. Remember this – there is no other area of law where a cop says “I NEED you to show me that you are o.k. to drive.” Rather if a cop walks up to your door and asks you about the murder of your neighbor you have every right to not answer the door or to not answer questions – that doesn’t change because we are in DUI land.
Question: Dave, what are you smoking? Are you saying that if I refused to do the field tests the cop would have just cited me for speeding and said: “have a nice day?”
Answer: Yes. Because he didn’t have enough evidence. Now, don’t misread me here – if you were obviously intoxicated the cop is going to arrest you, turn on his camera and record your obviously intoxicated actions such as getting out of the car, or dropping your wallet – but in 90% of DUI’s people are not obviously intoxicated they just smell like alcohol and that’s NOT enough for arrest and the cop knows damn well it isn’t.
SCORING THE IMPOSSIBLE – PERFECTLY SUBJECTIVE FIELD TESTS:
If you now are beginning to realize that you were scammed, wait until you hear how these field tests are scored are scored. It doesn’t get better than this in Vegas. Let’s take the Nine Step Walk and Turn Test for which there are eight (8) “clues” that the cop looks for that he doesn’t tell you about, and for which there are approximately 68 -70 chances to register a “clue,” or mistake. If you make just two (2) you have “failed” the test and are considered impaired. So for instance if you step (imagine scoring this in the dark from ten feet away!) just 1/8″ more than the 1/2″ permitted between your heel and toe ONCE and then you stop at any point for a moment, you have just failed the test and proven impairment. The other tests the Horizontal Gaze and Nystagmus (HGN) and the One Legged Stand (OLS) are even more of a joke. Everyone demonstrates some degree of HGN because of eye fatigue, and ANY eye doctor will tell you the same thing. At night our eyes get tired and the muscles moving them get strained and your eyes bounce a little. Alcohol undoubtedly helps this factor along, no argument there. But try now for me to stand on one leg while lifting the other one off the ground six inches WHILE LOOKING AT THE RAISED LEG! You can’t do it. And there is a reason for this – a scientific one. You can’t do it because to stay balanced you need a point of reference that acts as a horizon and that is a point fifteen or twenty feet away that is stationary. Your foot is moving, and so while you are staring at it, and traffic is going by, you lose your balance, or raise your hands, or hop, or put your foot down and just do two of those once and you have “failed” the test and are by definition impaired!
The Absolute Farce That Is NHTSA and SFST’s:
The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s) used by Utah law enforcement to form probable cause for arrest, have NEVER been tested on a sober control group to examine whether or not perfectly sober people can pass them. This fact makes SFST’s the single biggest charade in law enforcement today. People in America hate to hear that their justice system is anything but the “best in the world,” and clearly it is; but the system has faults, and the fact that SFST’s are a scientific sham is universally accepted by scientists and professors outside the very insular law enforcement community. Let’s face it, admitting these tests mean nothing is not going to happen in the face of ever increasing political pressure in Utah and other states to do anything possible to stop deaths from DUI’s.
The unfairness comes into play when people trying to obey the law, by having one or two drinks, are stopped for a minor traffic infraction only to be drawn into this web of SFST junk science; and then, coupled with the inaccuracy of the Intoxilyzers used in Utah DUI enforcement, they blow a tiny bit more than .080 and have a full blown DUI on their hands. Utah law enforcement uses the tools they were given – the SFST’s, administer them incorrectly the majority of the time, and then have their hunches falsely bolstered by the inaccurate Intoxilyzers – thus the entire system is self-reinforcing. The truth of the matter is this: you never need perform roadside sobriety tests and no Utah law enforcement officer can force you to physically stand on one leg to prove your fitness to drive. Unless conditions are physically perfect, weather, traffic, and footwear, you will not pass these tests, largely because a single mis-step out of twenty steps in a Walk and Turn for example, will indicate impairment to the officer – miss a single heel to toe, and step slightly off the imaginary line, and you are impaired according to their scoring. There is no other test in the world where a 99% score can result in failure of the test; yet this is exactly what happens in SFST scoring. This is Bull! Plain and simple. If the public wants to make driving and drinking illegal, let them do it through their representatives, but what is going on now, is an excuse to arrest 1.6 million people a year, 90% of whom were driving fine before they were stopped, and ruin their lives in the name of MADD. Nothing can replace a child’s life, but the USA has the same amount of DUI deaths every year like clockwork – 15,000 and 40% of those are the drunk driver, leaving 9,000.
CELL PHONE USE IS MORE DANGEROUS TO LIFE THAN DRINKING AND DRIVING, PERIOD.
That’s 9,000 too many to be sure, but if you want to enforce human behavior you can’t do it through arresting people who would never have killed anyone in the first place. WE lose more people than that to gun violence but you don’t see the police pulling people over and arresting them on the basis that they can’t do physical tests to prove they aren’t a danger in the future handling a gun while having two drinks in them. Put another way, 1 out of 4 car accidents involve texting, but you don’t see cops stopping people for traffic offenses and then looking at their cell phone to see if they used it in the past few minutes; there is ACTUALLY MORE danger in using a cell phone and driving than in drinking responsibly and driving according to guess who- NHTSA!Even if you made drinking and driving illegal, the people who kill others are so impaired that they are not thinking about the law or ramifications. Why punish “potential” harm? Why try to legislate responsibility? Punish the people who kill others by putting them in jail for life with no parole. That will deter people who can be deterred. But right now about 15% of the American populace has been arrested for DUI with the death toll still remaining stagnant – because these laws are political just like our drug laws.
For Those of You That Want To Know About The Science Behind My Claims Above Please Read Below:
ARTICLE: Field sobriety tests have been used by law enforcement officers to identify alcohol-impaired drivers. Yet in 1981 Tharp, Burns, and Moskowitz found that 32% of individuals in a laboratory setting who were judged to have an alcohol level above the legal limit actually were below the level. In this study, two groups of seven law enforcement officers each viewed videotapes of 21 sober individuals performing a variety of field sobriety tests or normal-abilities tests, e.g., reciting one’s address and phone number or walking in a normal manner. Officers judged a significantly larger number (72%) of the individuals as impaired when they performed the field sobriety tests than when they performed the normal-abilities tests. The need to reevaluate the predictive validity of field sobriety tests is discussed. (Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – A service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health)
ARTICLE: The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is used by law enforcement agencies in the United States to determine whether drivers are intoxicated. It has a high baseline error and a dose/response relationship that varies greatly according to whether the subject’s blood alcohol concentration is rising or falling. Confusion exists among practitioners of the test about whether it quantifies alcohol concentration or evaluates impairment. Fatigue exacerbates one component of the HGN test, end-position nystagmus. Video tapes recorded by cameras in police vehicles revealed that police officers rarely comply with the minimum requirements of the nystagmus examination procedures for which they were trained and certified. (Booker, End Position Nystagmus as an Indicator of Ethanol Intoxication 40(2) Science and Justice 113 – 116 (2001): David’s Plain Language Analysis / Synopsis: Alcohol vs. Fatigue as the cause of HGN : 55% False positives for fatigued nondrinkers. Dose response relationship varies depending on absorptive vs. post absorptive phase. More than 50% of subjects had positive HGN after BAC returned to 0.0 (Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – A service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes
ARTICLE: Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) are used as qualitative indicators of impairment by alcohol in individuals suspected of DUI. Stuster and Burns authored a report on this testing and presented the SFSTs as being 91% accurate in predicting Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as lying at or above 0.08%. Their conclusions regarding accuracy are heavily weighted by the large number of subjects with very high BAC levels. This present study re-analyzes the original data with a more complete statistical evaluation. Our evaluation indicates that the accuracy of the SFSTs depends on the BAC level and is much poorer than that indicated by Stuster and Burns. While the SFSTs may be usable for evaluating suspects for BAC, the means of evaluation must be significantly modified to represent the large degree of variability of BAC in relation to SFST test scores. The tests are likely to be mainly useful in identifying subjects with a BAC substantially greater than 0.08%. Given the moderate to high correlation of the tests with BAC, there is potential for improved application of the test after further development, including a more diverse sample of BAC levels, adjustment of the scoring system and a statistically-based method for using the SFST to predict a BAC greater than 0.08%. (Hlastla, Polissar, Oberman, Statistical Evaluation of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, 50(3) J Forensic Sci (2005): Dave’s Plain Language Analysis / Synopsis: The original research supporting and validating SFST’s as accurate was based on totally bogus statistics that were self-referential and inaccurate). (Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health)of Health).
ARTICLE: Police officers frequently use the presence or absence of an alcohol breath odor for decisions on proceeding further into sobriety testing. Epidemiological studies report many false negative errors. The current study employed 20 experienced officers as observers to detect an alcohol odor from 14 subjects who were at blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) ranging from zero to 0.130 g/dl. Over a 4 h period, each officer had 24 opportunities to place his nose at the terminal end of a 6 in. tube through which subjects blew. Subjects were hidden behind screens with a slit for the tube to prevent any but odor cues. Under these optimum conditions, odor was detected only two-thirds of the time for BACs below 0.08 and 85% of the time for BACs at or above 0.08%. After food consumption, correct detections declined further. Officers were unable to recognize whether the alcohol beverage was beer, wine, bourbon or vodka. Odor strength estimates were unrelated to BAC levels. Estimates of BAC level failed to rise above random guesses. These results demonstrate that even under optimum laboratory conditions, breath odor detection is unreliable, which may account for the low detection rate found in roadside realistic conditions. (Moskowitz, Burns, Ferguson, Police Officers’ Detection of Breath Odors from Alcohol Ingestion, 31(3) Accident Analysis and Prevention 175 (1999): Dave’s Plain Language Analysis / Synopsis: 20 experienced officers failed to predict alcohol intoxication of 14 subjects with BACs from .00-.13, because the odor of alcohol alone does not indicate anything by itself. (Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – A service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health) (Nicholson, et al., Variability in Behavioral Impairment Involved in the Rising and Falling BAC Curve, Journal of Studies on Alcohol 349 (July 1992)) Dave’s Plain Language Analysis / Synopsis: Impairment is greater during rising phase than falling phase, called post and pre absorptive phases. (Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health)of Health).
ARTICLE: Cell Phones: Because of a belief that the use of cellular telephones while driving may cause collisions, we used an epidemiologic method, the case-crossover design, to study whether using a cellular telephone while driving increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision. METHODS: We studied 699 drivers who had cellular telephones and who were involved in motor vehicle collisions resulting in substantial property damage but no personal injury. Each person’s cellular-telephone calls on the day of the collision and during the previous week were analyzed through the use of detailed billing records. RESULTS: A total of 26,798 cellular-telephone calls were made during the 14-month study period. The risk of a collision when using a cellular telephone was four times higher than the risk when a cellular telephone was not being used (relative risk, 4.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 3.0 to 6.5). The relative risk was similar for drivers who differed in personal characteristics such as age and driving experience; calls close to the time of the collision were particularly hazardous (relative risk, 4.8 for calls placed within 5 minutes of the accident, as compared with 1.3 for calls placed more than 15 minutes before the accident; P<0.001); and units that allowed the hands to be free (relative risk, 5.9) offered no safety advantage over hand-held units (relative risk, 3.9; P not significant). Thirty-nine percent of the drivers called emergency services after the collision, suggesting that having a cellular telephone may have had advantages in the aftermath of an event. CONCLUSIONS: The use of cellular telephones in motor vehicles is associated with a quadrupling of the risk of a collision during the brief time interval involving a call. Decisions about regulation of such telephones, however, need to take into account the benefits of the technology and the role of individual responsibility.Dave’s Plain Language Analysis / Synopsis: Cell phones cause more accidents than alcohol. (Redelmeier, Tibshirani, Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions, 336 (7) New England Journal of Medicine, 453-458 (1997)) Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – A service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health
ARTICLE: Assessing the degree of intoxication is not always easy by direct patient observation. Judging the degree of human alcohol intoxication is an important clinical, social, and medicolegal matter. Observational instruments have been used in forensic science, medical, and social situations in an endeavor to measure alcohol intoxication. The validity of these observational instruments must be questioned. In this study, twenty-one patients with alcohol related complaints presenting to major city emergency departments were studied using one such observational instrument, the Alcohol Symptom Checklist (ASC). Three independent emergency medicine physicians applied the criteria of ASC to the twenty-one patients and obtained a plasma alcohol concentration (PAC) for correlation purposes. Individual correlation coefficients (r = 0.182, r = 0.202, r = 0.200) and a composite correlation coefficient (r = 0.235) demonstrated lack of correlation between PAC and ASC. This lack of correlation is supported by clinical observations of experienced emergency department personnel. David’s Plain Language Analysis / Synopsis: High BAC ? Does not equal Intoxicated 12/20/1983; BAC provides little indication of Intox. (Sullivan, Hauptman & Bronstein, Lack of Observable Intoxication in Humans with High Plasma Alcohol Concentrations, 32 Journal of Forensic Sciences 1660 (1987)) (Abstract courtesy of www.pubmed.org – A service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health)
Cole and Nowaczyk, Separating Myth from Fact: A Review of Research on the Field Sobriety Tests, Clemson University
Doty, Wudarski, Marshall, Hastings, Marijuana Odor Perception: Studies Modeled From Probable Cause Cases, 28 (2) Law and Human Behavior (2004)
Marieb, Effects of Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Divisions on Various Organs, Human Anatomy and Physiology Sixth Edition.
Sanders, News of Science, Medicine, and Technology: Straight Talk 21(10) Discover (2000)
Papafotiou, Carter, Stough, An evaluation of the sensitivity of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) to detect impairment due to marijuana intoxication, 180 Psychopharmacology 107 (205)