Field Sobriety Tests
We've all seen the YouTube videos. A drunk person staggering around while attempting to do a field sobriety test after being stopped by a police officers on suspicion of drunken driving.
If you have ever been stopped for a DWI check, you may have even been asked to take a field sobriety test.
In the state of New Hampshire, law enforcement officers are tasked with keep the roads free of drunk drivers. This is why they make traffic stops when they see vehicles weaving in and out of traffic or driving in a hazardous way.
Once you have been stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated whether you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs you can be asked to perform any variety of tests to prove your sobriety. You may also be asked to submit to a chemical test that measures your blood alcohol content.
If you've been stopped in New Hampshire and asked to perform a field sobriety test before being arrested for drunk driving, you should contact criminal defense lawyer Michael Anzalone. At The Anzalone Law Firm we are highly experienced in dealing with drunken driving cases.
We will make your case a top priority.
You may wonder what field sobriety tests are for. The state outlines alcohol impairment in RAS 265-A:1.
These tests let officers judge your level impairment after you've been stopped on the highway. For example, a police officer may ask you to simply walk a straight line. If you can do this, no worries. But if you are staggering around, the officer will look further to determine whether you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
What are other kinds of tests that police officers use to determine sobriety?
There are many different ones. An officer may ask you to recite the alphabet. If you can recite it, he may ask you to recite it backwards. Another favorite is whether you can touch your index finger to your nose with your eyes closed. Or you may be asked to walk, again, and make a turn. Or they could ask you to stand and balance on one leg.
If you make it through a series of these field sobriety tests, a police office will probably say that you aren't impaired and let you go. But if you fall down, can't complete the exercise or if you refuse to participate in these tests, you may be asked to submit a blood alcohol test, or even a urine test. This would show the level of alcohol in your system.
If you are arrested following a series of these tests, you should immediately contact criminal defense attorney Michael Anzalone. He will determine the level of expertise the arresting officer has in conducting field sobriety tests. And, another thing he will look for is if there was any other reason that you appeared to be impaired during that traffic stop.
Remember that refusing to participate in these tests can result in major penalties that can include suspension of your driver's license.
The best action is to call Michael Anzalone in Nashua, New Hampshire, for a free consultation.