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Field Sobriety Tests Administered by a DRE

By San Diego Attorney on June 19, 2012

A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) will use four divided attention psychophysical tests to evaluate someone suspected of drug impairment. These tests are standardized in their administration, documentation, and interpretation. This is very important because it means it has to given exactly the same way each time: same instructions, always recording the subject’s performance in a prescribed manner; and looking for a specific set of cues to determine to what extent the subjects are impaired.

The next few blogs will examine each test in detail. The four tests are listed in the proper sequence:

  • Romberg Balance
  • Walk and Turn
  • One Leg Stand
  • Finger to Nose

Both the Walk and Turn and the One leg Stand are scientifically validated which means that they were subjected to controlled research, in which hundreds of drinkers volunteered, and showed that a DRE could see the difference between sober and drunk drivers. The Romberg Balance and Finger to Nose tests have not been subjected to scientific validity. What this means is that any mistake the DRE makes in administering these tests can be used to create a defense. These tests are subjective in nature even though two have been scientifically validated, the tests are not the only thing taken into consideration to determine the sobriety of a subject.

When hiring Attorney James N. Dicks to handle your DUI charges, we give our clients each a DUI Intake Packet that we require them to fill out. Why? Because it’s a very specific questionnaire that asks about your medical history, any prescription drugs taken during the time of arrest, the conditions of the weather, and the amount of alcohol and food consumed prior to the arrest. This helps Attorney Dicks understand the circumstances surrounding the client’s arrest.

One of the most respected Criminal Defense Attorney’s in the North County Area, James N. Dicks, has built a successful career by helping defend the rights of thousands of clients over the last 25 years. Call our offices today for a free consultation to learn more about your case and how he can help you.

Source: A training manual for the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

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A note from James N. Dicks:

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law.

Currently San Diego Superior Courts are closed but are set to reopen on Tuesday May 26th, 2020 barring any
future orders.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family. Please follow us on Facebook for any future updates.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law.

Los Tribunales Superiores de San Diego están cerrados, pero están programados para reabrir el martes 26 de mayo de 2020, salvo una nueva orden.

No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia. Síganos en Facebook para seguir siendo informado de novedades nuevas.


James N. Dicks
jD LAW, P.C.

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COVID-19 Announcement

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law. No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia.

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