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Field Sobriety Tests

Rockland county Field Sobriety Tests

Former Prosecutor Poking Holes in Testing Methods

If you are stopped by law enforcement in Rockland County, New York, on suspicion of drunk driving or driving while impaired by drugs, you may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests. These tests depend on the observations and subjective opinion of the police officer that stopped you. This means they can be challenged in a court of law.

If you want to fight the charges in any DWI case, avoid a conviction, or get assistance with minimizing the possible penalties you face, you should contact me as a Rockland County DWI attorney. I have extensive experience in this field of law, which can be utilized in the defense of your case.

Field sobriety tests are one of the ways law enforcement checks your level of intoxication or impairment. They are done to help the police officer decide whether or not to arrest you for a DWI. Examples of field sobriety tests include the one-leg stand, walk and turn, and horizontal and vertical gaze nystagmus tests, which involves following an object up and down and back and forth with your eyes.

The police officer will also be looking for visible signs of intoxication during these tests, such as:

  • Bloodshot, reddish or watery eyes
  • Flushed skin
  • Slurred speech
  • Stumbling
  • Difficulty in understanding and responding to questions
  • The smell of alcohol on your breath or clothes
  • The inability to adequately perform the tests

The police officer performing these tests must be trained to administer them and do them according to standardized procedures. If he or she does not perform them properly, they can be challenged in court and possibly thrown out as inadmissible.

Field sobriety tests used to implicate drivers for DWI are controversial. Many studies show the inaccuracy of field sobriety tests in general. It has been shown that these tests generally test coordination as opposed to intoxication or drug-impairment. Coordination can be affected by many factors, including one's age, physical condition, medical conditions, fatigue, and more.

As a Rockland County DWI lawyer, I can investigate your DWI case, in the area of field sobriety tests and all other aspects, to create a comprehensive defense strategy on your behalf.

Contact the Rockland County DWI Attorney at the firm today in any DWI case in Rockland County.

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