Fact Check

DUI Stop

Police car video records a DUI stop being subjected to some wacky sobriety tests.

Published Nov 2, 2005

Claim:   Police car video records motorist suspected of DUI being subjected to some wacky sobriety tests.


Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, 2004]

I was wondering if this is indeed a DUI test. I find it difficult to believe though if it is not it was very well done.


Origins:   Some of the field sobriety tests that police are commonly portrayed as administering when they stop motorists suspected of DUI (driving under the influence) — touching their fingers to their noses, walking a straight line heel-to-toe, standing on one leg — can look a bit

silly to outside observers, so it's not surprising that viewers who see this video clip out of context might wonder whether it really depicts a DUI stop captured by a camera mounted in a police cruiser.

What gives some of those viewers pause, however, is the fact that the sobriety tests being administered to the cowboy-hatted DUI suspect by the female patrol officer in the video include tasks a good many of us couldn't do well (if at all) when perfectly sober, including rapidly reciting the alphabet backwards and duplicating some fairly intricate dance steps. Those are some indicators that the clip is indeed a spoof — specifically, it's a segment taken from Reno 911!, a spoof of police television shows such as Cops that aired on Comedy Central from 2003 to 2009.

Last updated:   30 July 2014



    Ritholtz, Barry.   "The Truth About Auto Sales."

    Bloomberg View.   19 May 2014.


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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