The Backwards Count DUI Field Sobriety Test

By Garth O'Brien | December 18, 2009 
Filed Under Washington DUI

The Backwards Count field sobriety test is not a standardized field sobriety test. However, a few law enforcement agencies still use this field sobriety test when conducting a DUI investigation. In particular, the Seattle police department and Washington State Patrol utilize this test when processing a Seattle DUI or Washington DUI arrest.

The investigating police officer will request the DUI suspect to stand with their feet together and with their arms at their sides. The police officer will instruct the DUI suspect not to start the test until the police officer states. “Begin.” The DUI suspect is then told to count backwards from 53 to 36.

The police officer is looking for any missed numbers, repeated numbers, or failure to stop at the correct number. The police officer will also note if the DUI suspect produces any sway while performing the Backwards Count.

In the State of Washington the field sobriety tests are strictly voluntary. They are used by police officers to gather evidence during a DUI investigation. Any competent attorney would instruct their client to decline participation in these tests in any situation. If you have been arrested for DUI in Washington it is crucial you contact an experience Washington DUI attorney.

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