Cops are the watchful guardians of the health of American drivers
Cops are the watchful guardians of the health of American drivers. Cops are the watchful guardians of the health of American drivers.
Among the most ridiculous videos that can be found on the Web are protocol videos of American patrols that force drivers who are not sober to go through an adequacy test. However, laughing, think about it. After all, failing these tests can be quite sober. And in general, why are these tests necessary? Do they really lack the treasured pipe - the tools of the Russian traffic cop?
It turns out, no. Data from a breathalyzer alone is not enough to prove the fact of intoxication. We are well aware that banal kefir or kvass can influence the readings of this device, not to mention alcohol-containing breath fresheners. And if we waved it out, then in a country where one incorrectly used article in the police protocol can ensure innocence, this is taken very seriously.
The entire test procedure is clearly standardized, due to which the accuracy of identification of intoxication during the so-called field sobriety tests reaches 90%. Their essence is reduced to determining the psychophysical state of the driver by dividing his attention to solve problems of a mental and physical nature. For example, walk and count. Studies have shown that a person under the influence of alcohol is not able to concentrate on two such tasks at the same time.
The amount of drink is accurately reflected in the eyes. It is very difficult to fool a horizontal nystagmus test
The amount of drink is accurately reflected in the eyes. It is very difficult to fool a horizontal nystagmus test. The amount of drink is accurately reflected in the eyes. It is very difficult to fool a horizontal nystagmus test.
At the same time, too complex procedures directly affect the accuracy of the results. And then the innocent will be punished, and the offender will escape responsibility. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was concerned about this problem, and together with the Southern California Research Institute in 1975-1981, it studied numerous field test methods. As a result, a complex of three different tasks was created, approved in the early 1990s and recommended for use by the International Association of Police Chiefs.
The first task is tests for coordination of movements: she primarily suffers from exposure to alcohol. For example, they will force you to walk in a straight narrow line (usually marking is used) in small steps from heel to toe. At the same time, one must take steps to the beat or recall aloud the alphabet in an arbitrary (as a rule, reverse) order. This is followed by a team turn. Once you start balancing with your hands, get off the line, turn in the wrong direction, lose count or confuse letters - instead of a test you will have to surrender your rights.
The second is a stand on one leg, in the image of a heron you need to stay for 30 seconds. Involuntary movements - shaking, trying to maintain balance with your hands or connecting your free leg - will not be hidden from the eyes of a policeman, trained by a 16-hour course with two workshops and a difficult exit exam.
You need to stand on one leg for 30 seconds: this is enough to give out intoxication
You need to stand on one leg for 30 seconds: this is enough to give out intoxication. You need to stand on one leg for 30 seconds: this is enough to give out intoxication.
However, the old woman also has a bungle: they say that some experienced mortgages behind the collar manage to pass these tests without a hitch, even in heavy drinking. The last test, a test for horizontal nystagmus, will help to catch such. The subject must look with his eyes to track an object in the hands of a policeman from one extreme position to another. Perhaps, thanks to this test, the expression “not in one eye” appeared as a synonym for sobriety: they say that if you are drunk, your eyes will give out everything. For example, delays during slow tracking, small jumps at the extreme abduction of the eyeball and other symptoms. This ophthalmological exercise with enviable accuracy takes the drinker to clean water and often reveals even a slight alcohol content - up to 0.01 g / 100 ml.
Some states have more sophisticated trials, such as Romberg tests. Unfortunate in the “legs together, arms apart, head tilted, eyes closed” position, one finger or several should touch the tip of the nose one at a time or stand there for 30 seconds. The calculation is simple: a “relaxed” driver will not be able to stand upright for a long time, mix his hands or miss his nose. However, there are nuances. Other pathological disorders of the vestibular apparatus will not allow many people to pass this test on a sober head. The result is an appeal against the charge.
Romberg's tests: not every vestibular apparatus will cope
Romberg's tests: not every vestibular apparatus will cope. Romberg's tests: not every vestibular apparatus will cope.
In America, all the procedures that drivers stopped by a patrol are subjected to are recorded by several onboard cameras. This also applies to intoxication tests. All video files are sent to the court as the main evidence. A test of the driver’s psychophysical state is an integral part of the examination, which also includes a breathalyzer test or a blood test for alcohol (they themselves are necessary, but insufficient evidence in an American court).
What does this system give? Oddly enough, the transparency of accountability. Arguments in favor of expanding procedures that determine the condition of the driver are obvious. No matter how good a policeman is, he will not replace a medical consultation.
The task of the road guards is only to give their professional expert opinion, complete and correctly drawn up, and the court will sort out the nuances, which, in turn, will prefer to let the driver go for lack of evidence, so as not to consider a counterclaim against the state administration the next day.