Standard Field Sobriety Testing (SFSTs)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has adopted a set of standardized field sobriety tests (“SFST”) for DWI detection. These tests are the only ones that are acceptable in terms of establishing probably cause to arrest someone on suspicion of driving while intoxicated or that they were intoxicated. The purpose of this article is to prove you with an understanding of what police in Hamilton, Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton, Robbinsville and other Mercer County municipalities can properly utilize in your DWI case. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall also happen to be among a small fraternity of less than 10 statewide who are certified as instructors in SFST. An attorney on our staff would be more than happy to review the field tests in your case and to provide their analysis on whether or not they are valid in establishing intoxication. Call our Hamilton Office at 609–683–8102 for a free consultation with an attorney immediately.Standardized Field Sobriety Testing in Mercer County DWI Cases
There are three tests that have been adopted by the NHTSA as the standard in DWI detection in the United States, including all of New Jersey and Mercer County. Each of these tests is discuss in the headings below:
I. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (“HGN”). The term nystagmus refers to the involuntary movement of the eye, often in the form of a twitch or lack of smooth tracking. When alcohol is introduced into the human body there is a nystagmus that worsens as BAC gets higher. The HGN test forces a subject to hold their head still and observe an object or stimulus horizontally as it passes from left to right or vice verse. In New Jersey, HGN may only be used as a basis for establishing probable cause to make an arrest. The test may not be used at the time of trial to prove intoxication.
II. Walk & Turn Test. The walk and turn test is the one that many reading this article have seen police officers administrating roadside. It involves requiring the motorist to walk a straight line heal-to-toe without losing balance, using arms for balance and following the instructions in terms of stops and count. The combination of requiring the motorist to utilize his or her motor skills in combination with reciting a step count is referred to as a divided attention test.
III. One Leg Stand Test. The one leg stand is another divided attention test. The test requires the motorist to keep his/her arms at his side and lift one foot approximately six inches off the ground for a count of thirty. Failure to keep the foot in position, such as touching the ground, using arms for balance or failing to recite a proper count is a clue that is potential evidence of intoxication.Highstown NJ DWI Lawyers Who Are Certified In Field Sobriety Testing
Highstown has many more DWI violations than you might think and field sobriety tests are a component of just about every arrest. The problem is that police officers in this and other Mercer County towns like East Windsor, Ewing and West Windsor frequently make up their own tests, provide invalid instructions or score the test improperly. Lawyers who are certified in SFST can identify these shortcomings and successfully dissect an improper arrest. This is exactly what the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can provide in your case. Call our firm at 609–683–8102 for an immediate free consultation with an attorney regarding what transpired roadside in your matter.
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