Balancing Tests: The Romberg Method

Balancing Tests: The Romberg Method

Historical Background

In 1853, Moritz Heinrich Romberg – a German ear doctor – created an assessment to diagnose diseases by looking at a person’s sense of balance. These days, the assessment – called the Romberg Test – is employed by doctors to detect neurological problems, as well as issues in the inner ear. In addition, the Romberg method has been adapted by law enforcement for use in field sobriety. Although not one of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, police use the Romberg method a great deal. For these reasons and more, it is extremely beneficial if your Orange County DUI defense lawyers are familiar with the Romberg test as well.

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Orange County DUI Defense Lawyers Explain the Test

Here are the basics of the Romberg Test: you stand with your feet together, hands by your sides, head back, and eyes closed. There are many variations to the test. Some are called the “Sharpened” Romberg or the “Modified Position of Attention.” For these variations, you might be asked to put your feet heel to toe, not together, and put your arms directly in front of you instead of at your sides. Then, you may be asked to put your head back and stand heel to toe, and put your finger to your nose.

It Is Key to Get a Baseline

In clinical settings, the eyes are always open when the test is performed. This is done in order get a “baseline” of your test performance. However, law enforcement rarely uses a baseline. Instead, it assumes that the more you sway while performing the test, the higher your degree of alcohol impairment. But it is important to remember that the reliability of the test rests on what your baseline is. Otherwise, there is hardly any way to know if your poor performance was the result of intoxication or not.


Do You Have Additional Questions?

For additional questions and concerns, contact Orange County DUI defense lawyers like

Mike the Law Office of Mike Coffey Attorney at Lawat (800) 706-7888 today. He and his staff are happy to assist with any issues that you may have.