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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
Bergen County DUI attorney
If you are pulled over and the police suspect that you have been driving while under the influence (DUI), they may ask you to perform a standardized field sobriety test (SFST). These tests are used by police in an attempt to determine if a driver is legally intoxicated. What an officer may not mention is that participation is completely voluntary and if asked, you are well within your right to refuse. However, if you have already taken or failed an SFST, our Bergen County DUI attorneys can help.
Field sobriety tests are highly subjective as results are interpreted by the administrating officer. If an officer thinks that your performance resembles intoxicated behavior, they may argue that they had probable cause for an arrest. At Brickfield & Donahue, we know how to challenge the results and reliability of sobriety tests and diminish their effectiveness in court. Our attorneys possess more than 55 years of collective experience and have helped others in your situation to beat the charges against them.
The standardized field sobriety tests include:
- Walk and Turn Test: Drivers are instructed to walk in a straight line, heel-to-toe while listening to instructions from an officer.
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: Individuals must track an object, such as a pencil or light, horizontally across their field of vision.
- One-Leg Stand Test: Drivers are asked to lift one foot off the ground and maintain balance for a period of time while counting aloud.
Do not let an inaccurate sobriety test threaten your future. Schedule a FREE consultation with our firm today and learn about your options.
Sobriety Tests Are Not an Accurate Gauge of Intoxication
Despite their widespread use by law enforcement, standardized field sobriety tests are highly inaccurate, unscientific, and unreliable as a method for accurately determining BAC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the organization which provides testing regulations and promotes their validity. However, even their own research fails to provide conclusive evidence towards test reliability. In studies conducted by the NHTSA, it was found that an individual roadside test can be inaccurate in determining if a driver’s BAC is at .10% or higher in more than one in five cases.
Factors which can diminish the reliability of SFSTs include:
- The officer does not communicate the needs of the test clearly or administers the test incorrectly.
- Roadside conditions such as heavy traffic, weather, or uneven pavement can negatively affect a person’s performance.
- An individual possesses a physical handicap or limitation which increases the difficulty of a test.
Arrested Following an SFST? Contact Us Today!
If you have been charged with DUI after taking part in a field sobriety test, contact the law offices of Brickfield & Donahue immediately. You have the right to secure legal representation and you do not have to say anything without first consulting with our Bergen County DUI attorneys. We know your rights and can work to limit your legal risk and exposure. Even if the officer who administered your test insists that you did not pass, our firm may still be able to help. The actions you take following an arrest can greatly affect the outcome of your case. Protecting your future begins by contacting our firm.
Call (201) 574-7919 and learn about how we can help you to overcome field sobriety test results.