I found myself interpreting for a Field Sobriety Test expert the other day. The old police officer was wonderful at explaining some of the reasoning behind different sections of the Field Sobriety Test such as Stand and Turn, Horizontal Gaze, and others. What struck me the most was why they ask the suspect to close his eyes and silently count off 30 seconds, then open his eyes.
The obvious reason, see how the person balances, was not the main point of the countdown. Rather, it is used as part of the drug recognition testing. This expert told us that for someone cycling on any “uppers” such as cocaine or meth, their minds are racing at a speed that is multiple times faster than someone sober.
He testified that someone on meth, for example, will keep their eyes closed for an average of just 6 seconds, before opening and stating they are done with their 30 seconds. This is a real window into the time perception of someone racing on uppers. I can only imagine their heart rate and other physiological markers.
It makes me think of a biblical quote about the passage of time which to the best of my memory is “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”. The quote is an explanation for why God is so blessed slow at times, but it fits well into our varying perceptions of time.
Add drugs to that, and just imagine standing with your eyes closed and having time race by at five time the rate of the earths’ rotation, inside your head. Sounds overwhelming to me. Hopefully, once you get sober, if you ever do, you will regain the ability to rotate around the earth both physically and mentally in sync with our lovely planet.