A Variance In Test Results Indicates Unreliability
The dependability of certain tests, such as the Romberg Test (as used in law enforcement) have been regularly studied and reviewed. In many experiments, the Romberg test was shown to have weaknesses and inconsistencies, as your New Jersey DWI attorney will tell you.
Such studies have taken several participants who range in age from 18-52 and have asked them to stand with their feet together and their arms down by their sides. They were then asked to tilt their heads back slightly and close their eyes. Once they were advised to begin the test, each of the participants was required to keep his or her head tilted back and eyes closed for about 30 seconds. Once 30 seconds had elapsed, they had to bring their heads forward, open their eyes and say "stop."
When the test was done, the officer was required to ask the subject how much time had elapsed. Data was then assembled with respect to the amount of participant sway, the amount of eyelid flutter, and the accuracy of the participants' estimation of time.
Once tabulated, the test results showed that all subjects actually estimated the passage of 30 seconds within +/- 23 seconds; however, only 4.8% estimated 30 seconds at the precise point. Furthermore, 78.9% of participants were able to estimate 30 seconds within +/- 10 seconds and, 87.5% of participants did so within +/- 15 seconds. Moreover, 56.7% of the subjects had a sway that fell between 1-2 inches, while there was approximately an equal distribution of the outstanding percentage between subjects who swayed over 2-4 inches and those who swayed less than one inch.
Also, 28.9% of the subjects involved did not have eyelid flutters, while over 71% of them displayed flutters.
A skillful New Jersey DWI attorney will likely be aware of the fact that this amount of variation among the general population is to be expected. Furthermore, it goes without saying that increased body sway can take place for a number of reasons, including one's physical condition, weight, and age.
The studies also show the unreliable nature of the Romberg test, specifically with regard to identifying persons who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of more than 0.08%. In cases where a driver's BAC was actually under 0.08%, four out of seven drivers were erroneously arrested as having BAC levels over 0.08%.
A New Jersey DWI attorney like Dan Matrafajlo knows the nature of the Romberg test and can defend you in court if you believe the test failed in your DWI case. Call Dan Matrafajlo today at 908-248-4404 for a free consultation