Every day and night, across the United States, accidents are caused by drivers operating under the influence. Most fatal accidents are, in fact, DUI-related incidents. It is a plague that has beset the nation for as long as cars have been the norm, and it does not seem to be letting up.
For this reason, all officers are trained to perform field sobriety tests, tests that examine a driver’s coordination and mental ability. These tests help determine if the driver is currently under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
One of the non-standardized tests is called the Numbers Backwards Test. Not approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), it does not have a set protocol and can thus be administered differently between officers.
The counting is not always backwards, as suspects are sometimes asked to count in certain increments, like counting by 5s, or starting at a specific number like 900. The officer determines the rules and the length of the test.
Counting backwards is not usually as simple as counting backwards one at a time. The suspect may be asked to count backwards by 7s, for example. This would cause a non-affected individual to take pause and concentrate, but someone under the influence may not be able to do so. The officer will watch for errors or incompletion of full instructions, to determine a DUI charge.