Finger Count Test in DUI Investigations

Finger Count Test in DUI Investigations

In DUI investigations, officers often administer field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is impaired. One such test is the finger count test. This test is used to assess a driver’s cognitive ability and hand-eye coordination, both of which can be affected by alcohol or drugs.

How the Finger Count Test is Administered

During the finger count test, the driver is asked to touch each finger to their thumb while counting out loud. The officer may demonstrate the test first and then ask the driver to repeat it. The driver is typically asked to touch their index finger to their thumb while saying “one,” then their middle finger while saying “two,” and so on, until they have touched each finger.

The officer will observe the driver’s ability to follow instructions, maintain balance, and coordinate their movements. The officer may also look for signs of impairment, such as swaying, stumbling, or slurring their speech.

Challenging the Finger Count Test

As with other field sobriety tests, the accuracy of the finger count test can be challenged. There are many factors that can affect a driver’s ability to perform the test, including physical and mental conditions, distractions, and stress.

For example, a driver with arthritis or a hand injury may have difficulty with the finger count test. Similarly, a driver with a speech impediment or cognitive impairment may struggle to count out loud or follow instructions. Additionally, distractions such as noise or flashing lights can make it difficult for the driver to concentrate on the test.

It is important to note that the finger count test is not a standardized field sobriety test like the walk-and-turn or horizontal gaze nystagmus tests. This means that there are no established guidelines for administering or interpreting the test, and its accuracy can vary depending on the officer’s training and experience.

However, even if the officer believes the driver has failed the finger count test, it is not conclusive evidence of impairment. There are many factors that can affect a driver’s ability to perform the test, and it is possible to challenge the results in court.

In general, it is important to remember that field sobriety tests are not foolproof and can be affected by a variety of factors. If you have been charged with DUI based on the results of a field sobriety test, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can evaluate your case and determine the best course of action for challenging the test results.