I’ve got an interesting criminal law topic today regarding impaired by alcohol or impairment drug and these are the standard field sobriety tests. There’s three of them, which we have in Canada now, which are mandated by the Criminal Code and the regulations of Criminal Code. So what are they? I’m going to give you an example of how this works. So let’s say a police officer sees your driving and maybe there was a slight weave or maybe there was nothing I don’t know. Maybe you went through a red light or maybe they just decided to pull you over because they can do that. Just deciding to pull you over check your license, and they pull you over and maybe had a slight slur or something like that. They say, well, I’d like you to step outside of the vehicle. I’m going to give you the standard field sobriety test. The Criminal Code now allows for this and in past years, it didn’t, but we’ve changed the regulations and I want to go over these tests. So there’s a horizontal gaze in the nystagmus. N-Y-S-T-A-G-M-U-S something like that. HGN test for short. So this test involves the police officer is going to ask you to follow a pen or your finger horizontally from the peripheral vision from side to side. He’s going to watch carefully your eyes with a flashlight if it’s at night to see if there’s involuntary jerking. See what scientific studies have shown that involuntary jerking can show for example, drug impairment as an example. So that’s one test so you might fail that you might pass it. If you’re on drugs you’re going to fail it. So the next test is the one foot balance test. So that involves where you’re holding your foot. You’re standing on one foot straight up, you hold one foot six inches off the ground and just balance for a set number of seconds. For example, 30 seconds. The officer is looking for any balance problems. So it’s a difficult test to do even after a couple of drinks or obviously a marijuana cigarette. For some people that might be difficult to do on a sober day. Depending on the level of your balance. And then there’s a walk and turn test and I find this test very difficult for a person my age I’m 62 now, so you should try it at home. So try it home at sober not drinking because you’re going to fail drinking. You might fail sober too because especially if you’re nervous at roadside it seems like these tests the last, not the HGN test because that’s involuntary. But the last two is a friend of mine said these are designed to fail because we were practicing before I was doing these videos, just practice the test to see how he did. So, walk a straight line, heel to toe for nine steps then spin and turn on one foot and walk back. Not easy. Maybe it’s easy for real balanced coordinated young person. It’s not easy at my age at 62. So these are the three tests. So what we’re going to do, so let’s say you fail one or all three of these tests. What is the officer going to do? Well, they might decide to give an approved screening demand which is the alcotest for example, if you have an odor of alcohol. Even if you don’t they can give the alcotest anyway now. New laws say you don’t even have to have reasonable suspicion to give the alcotest at the roadside. You can stop the car and ask the person to blow in an alcotest. It seems strange, but that’s the new law 2018 or 19 I think. They might do that if you if you blow over they’ll bring you down for the for the real test. Or if they fail the test. Probably what they’re going to do is not do that. If I was an officer, I wouldn’t if I thought you failed those I’d say well I have reasonable grounds now. That you’re impaired. I’m going to bring you down either for a DRE evaluation. Let’s say you did the involuntary jerking well that shows drug impairment. I’m going to bring you down for the DRE drug recognition evaluation test. My next round of videos I’m going to go over those and how to defend and all that sort of thing. So that’s going to be an interesting video that I’ll do in a couple of months. So those that’s a series of a whole bunch of tests, balance, you name it, muscle tone, blood pressure back at the police station, or if they feel that you have an odor of alcohol and you’ve also failed this test. They’ll bring you back for a breath test, or they can do both, maybe they’re going to do the DRE and the breath test back at the police station. But the bottom line is these tests are easy to fail and especially for an old guy like me, unfortunately, and sober or drinking. Now it’s important you’re not allowed to refuse these tests. That’s a criminal charge which has serious repercussions just like a DUI unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know that though. They’ll refuse and you know, look at a sober person who’s even got great balance. Are you going to follow all those directions? Like walk in a straight line, spin on one foot. They’re looking for following directions too. You’re nervous you’re it’s at the roadside and it’s late at night. It’s kind of a disaster. Exactly. They’re kind of designed to fail. But anyway, so that’s the law in Canada and the police have a lot of powers the powers have increased in recent years. And as I said, they’re allowed to pull you over for any reason now and just give you an approved screening device. That’s called the alcotest, the device you blow in and road test is the screening device they get you back for the main test if you fail. Before in years past they had to have an odor of alcohol to give that screening test because it was contrary to the Charter but that law has all changed with the amendments to the Criminal Code which came in about 2019. So there you have it a little bit short primer on the SFT’s the standard field sobriety tests which are pertinent and being done by police officers in Ontario and throughout Canada as we speak. Thank you for watching our video. We are absolutely committed to bring you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense and Ontario and require our services, please click on the link in the description below.

Contact Us

Complete the form below to get a free meeting and quote.

Protected By Google reCAPTCHA | Privacy - Terms