DWI charges should never be taken lightly. If you have been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) because you failed a field sobriety test, our highly skilled New Jersey DWI attorneys can help. Just because you failed the test does not automatically mean you were intoxicated and it certainly does not mean you will be convicted in court. With extensive experience in this area of law, our attorneys understand which defenses to use in your case.
A 40-year-old man was recently charged with a DWI after he crashed his car in Madison. According to law enforcement, an officer was dispatched to the scene for a single vehicle accident. Upon arrival, the officer discovered a red Ford Explorer upside down on the front lawn of a residence. The driver was standing outside of the vehicle and the police officer said he observed signs of impairment. The man was asked to perform a field sobriety test, which he failed, and was ultimately arrested and charged.
In New Jersey, drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher are considered alcohol-impaired under the law. Police officers will sometimes administer a Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) to determine whether a driver is impaired. In administering the test, police are looking for signs of intoxication by testing the driver’s coordination. You have the right to refuse to perform a field sobriety test although the police officer will most likely not tell you that. In addition, you should know that refusing to take the test would likely lead to you being arrested.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes three specific field sobriety tests that are considered satisfactory in determining whether a motorist is drunk. These include: i) the Eye Test or Horizontal Gaze Nystamus test in which a driver is required to follow an object like a pen or finger from side-to-side with his or her eyes; ii) the Walk and Turn Test, which requires a driver to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line, turn on one foot, and come back along the same way; and iii) the One-Leg Stand Test, which involves a driver standing for 30 seconds with one foot about six inches off of the ground with his or her toe pointed, while staring at the foot and counting from “1 1 thousand to 30 1 thousand.”
While these tests are considered reliable, the reality is that police officers do not always administer them properly. This is potentially good news for you because if a test was not carried out properly, you can likely contest the reliability of the results as a defense in your case.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, whether it is your first offense or a subsequent offense, our seasoned New Jersey drunk driving attorneys can protect your rights throughout your case. Remember, being charged with a DWI is an extremely serious matter, which is why an experienced attorney who has in-depth knowledge of the procedures and protocols surrounding field sobriety tests should represent you. We are ready to speak to you regarding your case so please do not hesitate to call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.