Field Sobriety and Breathalyzer Tests
New York City and New York State DWI Attorney
If you are stopped for a traffic infraction or at a check point and have alcohol on your breath, you may get arrested. Generally, a police officer will give you an Alco-Sensor test, as well as ask you to perform field sobriety tests on the side of the road. In the police precinct you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine whether you are impaired or intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
One field sobriety test is to recite the alphabet starting at a letter chosen by the police officer. Another test is to touch your finger to your nose with your head back and eyes closed. There are several other tests which the police may ask you to perform. Law enforcement relies on the results of these tests to estimate whether your blood alcohol content is high enough to result in an arrest. Alco-Sensor and field sobriety tests are imperfect. It is difficult to stand on one leg on the side of the road in the middle of the night. If the officer did not have sufficient probable cause to stop your vehicle, the case may be dismissed in court.
Within two hours of arrest, motorists are usually given Breathalyzer tests as well as asked to perform physical tests. Some of the tests that you may be asked to perform are the walk and turn test, the finger-to-nose test and the gaze nystagmus test. In most precincts and station houses these tests are videotaped. This evidence can be especially helpful at court if you did not appear intoxicated or if the police officer’s report conflicts with the video tape.
Breathalyzer Tests Refusal
If you refused a Breathalyzer or Alco-Sensor test, you will need representation at a refusal hearing. The penalty for refusing a breathalyzer test is a one-year revocation of your driver’s license and a civil penalty, plus insurance consequences. In addition, you will not be eligible for a conditional driver’s license unless you plead guilty to an alcohol-related offense.
Call Karen A. Friedman at 212-213-2145 or 845-266-4400 or contact us for a free consultation.