By: William C. Head, DUI Lawyer Atlanta
Because people in the Government often bend over backwards to accommodate the wishes of police officers, bogus “tests” have been created relating to psycho-physical tests that cannot deliver scientifically reliable results. The so-called Police Modified Romberg Test is one of those bastardized tests being used. A Romberg is a REAL and useful tool for neurologists, but the version of Romberg’s test used in DUI enforcement is unproven “science” at best.
By using the name “Romberg” in their description of the evaluation, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) promoters seem to want judges and jurors to BELIEVE that this police pre-arrest DUI testing is imbued with a medical FOUNDATION, when it is anything but that.
A 19th century German doctor, Romberg created an initial patient screening test for his patients with neurological issues. The police testing by use of a “modified Romberg test” is as different from Dr. Romberg’s neurological test as an apple is different from a pistachio nut.
Using another analogy, the inclusion of Dr. Romberg’s name for this police test is somewhat like opening a daycare center, with 4 teachers with their high school diploma or GED overseeing a group of 4-year-old children, and putting up a big sign announcing The Einstein School. Sounds impressive, but you can bet your last dollar that no geniuses are coming out of The Einstein School, given the people who are conducting the “training.” Only by looking “behind the curtain” are we able to refute this fraud upon the American driving public.
The use of Romberg’s good name, which is associated with an internationally-known (and still-used) baseline medical test to identify neurological diseases, sullies the good name of the famed German doctor. Federal and state law enforcement government agencies, in a quest to improperly elevate and bolster the validity of their pre-arrest screening procedures, wish “to pull the wool over” the eyes of both trial Judges and jurors.
Your DUI attorney must be skilled enough to build a defense to this false science, and file a proper motion in limine (a motion to exclude bogus, unreliable, non-scientific evidence at trial) to keep this fraud from happening.
Ironically, the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Test Manuals, for 2013 and for 2015 (the two latest Student (Practitioner) Manuals, do not mention the word “Romberg” in them. This intentional omission is because NHTSA wants officers to attend the ARIDE 2-day course (at a minimum) and (for serious DUI officers) to become DRE (drug recognition expert) to become certified in the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program.
Then, our American judicial system allows officers to claim that these additional training courses were taken to assist them in ADVANCED DWI-DUI detection methods, for identify the drivers impaired by drugs AND/OR by alcohol.
Some police departments claim that the modified Romberg test permits testimony about “proof of alcohol intoxication” as well as being a test for alleged marijuana impairment. Arrests for marijuana DUI cases are on the rise, especially as more states legalize weed. A Romberg test for marijuana impairment is instructed the same way as the alcohol balance test, but the officer somehow is able to decide if the driver is “high” on marijuana or not.
Again, do not take this pre-arrest test. It only adds to the prosecutor’s evidence against you in your DUI drugs case. Plus, if you have first been Mirandized after a DUI arrest, an officer MAY try to get you to do BOTH the modified Romberg balance test and the full DRE 12-step evaluation, if you are dumb enough to comply. CALL a DUI attorney!
Because of thousands of legal challenges by skilled DUI attorneys across this nation, NHTSA has finally cleaned up any claims that the NHTSA SFST 3-test field sobriety test battery was ever studied, reviewed, screened, or correlated to drivers who have ANY substance — other than ALCOHOL — in their bloodstream.
For an alcohol-free subject, failing field sobriety tests only shows inherent inability to balance, not drug impairment.
No new, controlled studies were paid for or done by NHTSA,n fashioning a drug detection and classification course, in either the DRE training or the shorter and more abbreviated ARIDE course. Thus, no proper scientific proof exists that will permit a proper foundation for “expert witness testimony.”
Our criminal defense lawyers in Atlanta will challenge all the police evidence in your criminal justice case. A huge difference exists between our criminal defense law firm and others, who merely want your credit card. Our DUI attorneys are here to WIN, when other DUI lawyers suggest taking a guilty plea.
Board-Certification for a DUI defense lawyer is the highest level of industry recognition for this specialized field of criminal defense. DUI defense is a sub-specialty for a criminal justice lawyer who specializes in defense of citizens accused of drunk driving.
Atlanta DUI lawyer William C. “Bubba” Head is one of only 4 Georgia DUI lawyers to have Board-Certification from NCDD.com. Additionally, William Head is one of only 2 DUI attorneys in Atlanta (or in Georgia) to be named as a Super lawyer EVERY year since the accolade started.
Our three Atlanta criminal defense attorney partners, well-known as DUI lawyers on Georgia DUI laws, are all recognized by Super Lawyers for excellence in DUI Defense for 2017. We offer a FREE analysis of your criminal charges under Georgia DUI law, after you complete our quick online case evaluation form, or call the law office of William C. Head, PC at (404) 567-5515.