Please Note: Barry Cooper and Never Get Busted do not support anyone driving while impaired. This is not a video to teach you how to drive while you are impaired. If you are impaired, you should never drive; you could hurt or kill yourself or someone else. Ex-Narc Barry Cooper is a former special agent for a DWI task force where he made hundreds of DWI arrests. Join Barry Cooper as he explains roadside testing and teaches the only safe way to drink and drive.
…and there’s a tear in my beer, and I’m crying for you dear, you are always on my mind. That’s an old tune from Hank Williams Senior. Hey, my name is Barry Cooper, welcome to Never Get Busted.com, thank you for joining me. I was actually having a beer today and I say to myself I said self…what can I teach my audience? Well, I’m going to teach you how to drink and drive without getting busted. Now don’t get all freaky and weird on me, because I am like everybody else should be, 100% against being impaired and driving.
Nobody should ever be impaired and drive. You can kill yourself, you can kill families. You can cause a lot of harm, and a lot of damage. But, I don’t agree with the statement, you can’t drink and drive. Because having one beer and driving usually doesn’t impair a person. The same argument can go with cannabis. You know I wrote a blog about doing drugs and driving safely. Well, that’s the argument with cannabis, is that cannabis does not impair a person like alcohol. Now a new cannabis user should not drive. A new cannabis user becomes impaired when they first smoke and they’re a bit disoriented and they shouldn’t drive.
But I’ll tell you as an experienced cannabis user myself and millions of others drive better when they’re stoned on cannabis. So the argument is not can a person smoke marijuana or can a person drink or can a person take this pill or can a person do this and drive safely, that’s not the question. The question is can a person drive safely when they’re impaired and the answer is no. So if you’re impaired absolutely do not drive, and I’m going to teach you whether you’re impaired or not.
You know when I was a police officer, a lot of people know me as one of the best narcotics agents on the planet. But I also worked a myriad of other cases. I worked burglaries, robberies, homicides, domestic disturbance, traffic offenses, and DWIs, driving while intoxicated. In fact, I was assigned to a DWI task force and I have put a lot of people in jail for driving while intoxicated, and fortunately for you, I’m going to explain how you never drive while intoxicated or drive while you’re impaired.
You can do it through three simple tests, and I taught these tests to my kids as they were growing up. Now they’re adults now and they still use these techniques that I’m going to teach you to make sure they’re not impaired while they’re driving because they don’t want to harm somebody else and they don’t want to go to jail. So here are the three tests that you need to perform on yourself or on your friends before you allow them to drive.
It’s called number one, the horizontal gaze nystagmus. Number two, the one-leg stand, and number three the heel to toe. Now, these three tests just happen to be the standardized field sobriety test for the state of Texas to determine if somebody is impaired or not. So the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the first test, and you can do this at an actual party, do this at your home before you get in the car. Make sure you pass this test before you drive because we don’t want you driving impaired. A lot of people refer to this as the pen test. You know when the police officer says sir, will you please keep your head still, and without moving your head, move your eyeballs only and follow my pen. Then they start doing all this stuff with the pen and you’re like what’s this dude doing. Let me tell you what they’re doing, they’re looking for nystagmus.
Nystagmus is defined as the involuntary jerking of the eyeballs. A sober person’s eyeballs have nystagmus but it’s not detectable unless it’s under a microscope. So everybody’s eyes flutter a little bit nystagmus is the involuntary jerking of the eyeballs. So your eyes are in a constant state of nystagmus, but we can’t see that until you get intoxicated, especially on alcohol. Drinking brings out the nystagmus, to the degree, that you or a police officer can detect that involuntary jerking. So the first thing they do during a nystagmus test or pen test is, they ask you to hold your head still, and then they bring your eyeballs to maximum deviation. That’s all the way as far as the eyeballs can look at maximum deviation. If a person is intoxicated their eyeballs will flutter.
The next time your drunk try it, the next time you’re with the friend who’s drunk try it. Get them to hold their head still, move a pin to maximum deviation. Let them move their eyeballs to maximum deviation and then watch and you’ll see their eyeballs flutter. You can probably relate to this if you’re intoxicated and you move your eyeballs to maximum deviation the room starts moving around. Why does the room jump around when you do that? It’s because you’re intoxicated and the eyeball is doing these involuntary jerks or nystagmus.
So that’s maximum deviation. After they look for maximum deviation, and they detect fluttering then the police officer will ask you to follow the pen to at or about 45 degrees and ask you to follow that. If you have nystagmus at maximum deviation and if you have nystagmus at or before 45 degrees they’re probably gonna lock you up. And I’m asking you if you have both of these please, don’t drive. In the last portion of the first test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus is lacking the smooth pursuit of the ink pen. That’s where they do this…and as your eyes track the pen back and forth, a sober person’s eyes do it smoothly. An intoxicated person’s eyes lack a smooth pursuit of the pen.
So there are three little tests inside the first test nystagmus. Nystagmus at maximum deviation, nystagmus at or before 45 degrees, and lacking smooth pursuit of the ink pen. I’m just going to go ahead and ask you if when you’re testing yourself or you’re testing your friend at a party and they have nystagmus at maximum deviation, ask them to wait for thirty minutes without drinking anything and then retest them. If the nystagmus is gone I’ll let them go. If the nystagmus isn’t gone ask them to wait another 30 minutes. As I said before I’ve taught my kids this test to make sure they didn’t get a DWI, make sure they didn’t kill themselves or somebody else.
Okay, I told you there are three tests that police go by, horizontal gaze nystagmus, I just went over that. The second test is the one-leg stand. That’s where the officer asks the victim or ask the driver, to place their hands at their side, not using their arms for balance, lift up either leg of your choice approximately six inches off the ground, keeping your knee straight for 30 seconds and count out loud 1,001…1,002… 1,003… all the way to 30. Now part of this test is can you follow instructions. So if a person raises their leg up and they don’t keep it straight, and their knee is bent they’re not following instructions.
Therefore they could be impaired. If they’re using their arms to balance, and not keeping their arms at their side they’re not following instructions and they could be impaired. Now I’m going to tell you between the nystagmus and the one-leg stand you don’t need to do the third one, which is the heel to toe nine steps turn around, come nine steps back. So we’re not going to go to that one if you can pass the horizontal gaze nystagmus, and you can lift one leg in front of you staring at your toe and count to thirty by one thousand one… thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four, and you don’t put your foot down to keep from falling over, you’re not impaired.
You know this is why I don’t agree and I argued in front of the Austin Texas City Council when they decided that they were going to make it a law that when a driver refuses to have blood withdrawn on a DWI case, they made it a law that even if the driver refuses they’ll get a search warrant and draw your blood anyway, and I told them that’s unnecessary. Because those two tests, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, and the one-leg stand are enough to decide whether a person is impaired to drive or not. I think the illegal drinking limit in Texas right now is point zero eight. Well, I can be at a point zero eight and I have very little nystagmus. I can do the one-leg stand and I can drive safely.
Now there are some people who are at point zero eight they can’t do either of those. There are some people that are a point one zero and you’ll never know they’re intoxicated. So even the test is not blood alcohol content point zero eight or 0.1 or 0.12. The test is whether you’re impaired or not, and to test whether you’re impaired or not is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and the one-leg stand. If you perform these two tests while you’re drinking and before you drive and if you don’t pass either of those two tests, wait 30 minutes without drinking, perform those tests again. If you can’t pass those tests, wait 30 minutes more and keep repeating that until you pass those two tests. Then drive all you want and you’re gonna be safe, you’re not gonna hurt anybody, and you’re not going to go to jail. Now I’m gonna give you a bonus in closing.
Here’s one more test that is not a standard field sobriety test. Police can’t use this and write it down and their police report. You may have seen police use all these touch your nose tests and all that those are all bullshit. They haven’t been proven scientifically, and you may have seen this counting test that I’m about to tell you. They can’t put it in a report but it works. Just from my experience of arresting hundreds of people that are drunk, and testing hundreds more for public intoxication.
There’s one test I would do really quick before I started the horizontal gaze nystagmus, and the one-leg stand, and every person that failed this little test that I’m about to tell you, failed nystagmus and the one-leg stand… and that is… do this test exactly as I say starting with your thumb to your pinky, count to 4…1 2 3 4 and then backward 4 3 2 1 and do that 3 times. 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1. I challenge you to ask any person at a party that’s drunk to do that they can’t do it. drunk, they’ll screw it up.
So if you screw up the 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1, you’re impaired. And to make double sure do the horizontal gaze nystagmus test on yourself, and do the one-leg stand. Make sure you pass all three of these tests 1 2 3 4 gaze nystagmus and the one-leg stand before you drive because we don’t want you to hurt anybody. Never Get Busted and Barry Cooper is all about harm reduction. Harm reduction. We don’t want people hurt, and this is one way to keep you from being hurt and to keep you from getting busted. Peace Love, I’m Barry Cooper, and Never Get Busted!