Neurologists may use the Rhomberg balance test to check for problems with balance and coordination, which could point to a larger neurological problem. Police officers also use the Rhomberg balance test as a field sobriety test. It may be used to assess balance and coordination of a driver who may be intoxicated, but those arrested based on the results of this field sobriety test may consult with a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer who may be able to challenge the results in some cases.


How the Romberg Test is Performed

The Rhomberg test is performed by a person standing up and putting his or her feet together. Hands should be put at the sides, head should be tilted back and eyes should remain open. Next, the person will be asked to close his or her eyes and estimate about 30 seconds. A person who is sober may sway slightly, but should not lose balance. A person who is intoxicated may be unable to keep balance with eyes closed.

There may be several variations to this test. Some police officers may have the person put one foot in front of the other, for example. Some may have the person touch his or her nose with a finger while trying to keep balance. Some police officers may not require that the person tip the head back. Because of these inconsistencies, there may be a great degree of inaccuracy when conducting the test. This could work to the driver’s advantage and could make the Rhomberg balance test challengeable by a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer.

Accuracy of the Rhomberg Test

Although the Rhomberg balance test is used as a field sobriety test, it is not among the standardized field sobriety tests from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The test was originally designed as a neurological test, so if a driver tests positive, he or she may simply have a neurological condition or a problem with balance or coordination instead of a drinking and driving problem.

The horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and one leg stand tests are the three standardized tests from the NHTSA, but in some cases, even results of the tests may be challenged in court, especially if the tests were administered incorrectly or the results were not interpreted properly. Individuals with certain medical conditions may also fail the tests because of their condition rather than intoxication. This is why a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer should be contacted in order to help create a strong defense against charges of driving while intoxicated.

Contacting a Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer

Field sobriety tests are subjective, making the tests much less accurate than chemical testing. Those accused of being intoxicated through the use of a Rhomberg test can challenge this claim through many defenses, such as inappropriate administration or results interpretation, illness, stress or fatigue. Robert Malove is a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer who can evaluate use and results of field sobriety tests like the Rhomberg balance test and help those accused of drinking and driving develop a defense.