It Is Possible To Challenge Probable Cause In Field Sobriety Testing
Even when properly administered (which does not always happen), the most accurate field sobriety test will still produce false positive results a significant percentage of the time. This is important because an officer’s subjective interpretation of how well a driver performs one of these abnormal tasks is usually what gives the officer probable cause to arrest you and take a breath or blood sample.In other words, if you can effectively challenge the field sobriety test results, you could potentially render the arrest and all of the evidence obtained after the arrest inadmissible against you.
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Although there are a number of different field sobriety tests law enforcement officers use, there are only three nationally standardized tests:
- The one-leg stand test requires a driver to stand with their legs together and arms at sides, and then to lift one leg straight out and hold it six inches off the ground for 30 seconds
- The walk and turn test requires a driver to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line (usually the shoulder line) for nine steps, then to turn around and walk nine steps back the same way
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus test (or HGN test) requires a driver to follow with their eyes, the back and forth movement of a pen or some other type of pointed object which the officer holds in front of them while looking for unusual eye movements
There Is No Legal Penalty For Refusing A Field Sobriety Test
While it may be too late for this in your case, it is worth mentioning that there are no criminal penalties for refusing to take a field sobriety test. You can politely decline an officer’s request and may still be arrested, but at least you will not have provided the state with any additional evidence to use against you.
For A Free DWI Consultation, Reach Out Today!
Do not wait to talk to a lawyer about your legal rights and options following a DWI arrest. Call 845-566-5345 or send us an email. Our attorneys represent local, out-of-town and out-of-state drivers arrested for DWI and other serious driving offenses on Interstates I-87 (NYS Thruway) or I-84, U.S. Route 9W, the Palisades Interstate Parkway, State Routes 6, 17 (86) or 59, and on other Hudson Valley roadways.
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