The Finger to Nose Test – Another DUI Field Sobriety Test

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

The Finger to Nose 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 including police officers in Washington State.

The DUI suspect must stand with their feet together and their arms at their sides. The DUI suspect must keep their head still and look forward, but they must close their eyes during the test.

The police officer will state either, “left” or “right.” When the officer states, “right” the DUI suspect must bring their right pointed index finger to the tip of their nose. They must touch the tip of the finger to the tip of the nose. Any deviation is failure. The sequence is usually left, right left, right, right, left. Many DUI suspects will raise their left hand initially during the third “right” request.

Most individual cannot touch tip to tip either. They usually miss by a mere inch or inches. A majority of jurors informed me they disregarded the Finger to Nose field sobriety test evidence. Most jurors believed this to be a silly test because the DUI suspect must keep their eyes closed while attempting to touch tip to tip. Try this exercise and see while sober if you can complete the test properly. I never can complete the test as required by law enforcement.

Field sobriety tests are voluntary in the State of Washington. These tests are used to gather evidence of impairment. Any competent Washington attorney would instruct their client to refuse field sobriety test participation. However, many people do complete these tests and become arrested for a Washington DUI. If you have been arrested or have been charged for DUI in Washington you must contact an experienced Washington DUI attorney immediately. This is the best way to avoid or minimize the harsh mandatory Washington DUI penalties.

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