Romberg Field Sobriety Test

The Romberg field sobriety test also referred to as the “modified position of attention,” begins with the officer instructing the test subject to stand with their feet flat on the ground with their heels and toes touching. The subject is told to keep their arms to their sides and to remain in this position until being given further instruction.

The officer then tells the subject that, when instructed to do so, he or she should tilt their head back, and close their eyes. When told to begin, the subject should then silently estimate the passage of 30 seconds. When 30 seconds has elapsed, the subject should face forward, open their eyes and say, “Stop.”

Here again, in the span of a very few seconds, the officer gives the test subject at least 6 separate instructions and expects the subject to perform flawlessly.

If the test subject begins too soon, sways while balancing, exhibits eyelid flutters, opens their eyes, counts out loud, raises their arms for balance, does not accurately estimate the passage of time or steps out of the position instruction, the officer will assess these as evidence of impairment.

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