blog home DUI Field Sobriety Tests: Romberg Balance

Field Sobriety Tests: Romberg Balance

By San Diego Attorney on June 21, 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. The next few blogs will examine each test in detail.

Romberg Balance

This test requires the subject to stand with the feet together, the head tilted slightly back, the eyes closed, and estimate the passage of thirty seconds. When the subject believes that the thirty seconds have passed, he or she it to tilt her head forward, open the eyes, and say “Stop”.

Administrative Procedures that the DRE will direct to the subject:

  • The subject must stand straight with the feet together and the arms down at the sides
  • The subject must maintain that position while he gives the instructions and tells the subject not to start the test until told to start
  • He will ask the subject if he or she understands
  • The DRE will instruct the subject that when they begin the test they must tilt their head back and close their eyes. He will demonstrate how the head should be tilted.
  • He will tell the subject when to start and say “keep you head tilted back with your eyes closed until you think that thirty seconds have gone by”.
  • The DRE will tell the subject to bring their head forward and say “Stop” when the subject thinks thirty seconds have passed
  • Ask the subject if they understand
  • Start the test and tell the subject to begin the test
  • Keep track of time while the subject performs the test

The DRE will be looking for the following:

  • body tremors
  • eyelid tremors
  • muscle tone
  • any unusual statements made by the subject

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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