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New York Lawyers Invalidate Field Sobriety Tests

If an individual is pulled over by a police officer for suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI), the law enforcement official will more than likely ask the driver to submit a chemical test as well as field sobriety test. In most cases, a chemical test will be administered with a breathalyzer that could be a portable machine or a larger device that is at the police station.

In New York City, a DWI field sobriety test will be administered at a police station. However, when the stop takes place outside of New York City, a field sobriety test will be administered at the location of the stop. Although a chemical sobriety test uses specific measurements to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC), a field sobriety test is not as scientific. Field sobriety tests are physical tests that are used to help a police official determine if an individual is intoxicated. However, when the results of a field sobriety test suggest the individual isn’t intoxicated, the results of the test may be deemed as invalid evidence.

If an individual refuses to comply with a DWI chemical test, it could lead to numerous consequences. When an individual fails to take a chemical test, his or her driver’s license will automatically be suspended for one year. Moreover, there is also a civil penalty of $500 as well as a yearly driver’s assessment that takes place for three years and is $250 per year. In addition, a prosecutor may submit a proposal for a plea offer when an individual is charged with a DWAI and meets certain conditions.
It is also important to note that if an individual refuses to comply with a chemical sobriety test due to the fact he or she knew they would fail, it is considered a consciousness of guilt.

In addition, when an individual fails to comply with a DWI field sobriety test, he or she will not face all the legal penalties as those whom refuse to take a chemical test. The most prominent effect on refusing to comply with a field sobriety test may been seen as evidence of intoxication.

If an individual is not under the influence but still fails to take a sobriety test, he or she will face the same consequences. On the other hand, when an individual fails to take a sobriety test and would have clearly failed, it won’t help the prosecution. This is because an individual isn’t able to accurately determine the outcome of their results. With DWI field sobriety tests, the type of alcohol consumed, the volume of alcohol in an individual’s BAC, and the individual’s weight and tolerance for alcohol will be determined.

What are the Types of DWI Sobriety Tests are Performed in New York?
In New York, sobriety tests are categorized by non-standardized tests and standardized field sobriety tests. A non-standardized test that is administered by the New York Police Department is known as a DWI coordination test. Standardized field sobriety tests are typically administered by police officers outside New York City, which may include State Troopers, and were created by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Both tests may be administered in conjunction with one another by police officers in New York City.

There are three non-standardized DWI field sobriety tests that are administered by the New York Police Department. These tests include the walk and turn, one-leg stand, and finger to nose. In addition, there are also three standardized field sobriety DWI tests that include walk and turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. Outside New York City, two standardized sobriety tests are used that include the alphabet test as well as the Romberg test (balance test).

The New York Police Department Coordination Tests
If an individual is stopped in New York City for a DWI, he or she may be taken to one of the few stations that offer a breathalyzer device. The instrument is located in a small room, which is where the test is administered. When an individual is taken inside the room, a video recorder will be used for the duration of the test, which is turned over the the defense. If there are mistakes made during testing, the video surveillance can be used as evidence in court.

A chemical test produces numerical values that are based on scientific measurements that accurately measure an individual’s BAC. However, the results of a chemical test is not always accurate, so it can be invalidated in court if a criminal defense attorney presents such findings.

To ensure an individual’s rights are protected, he or she should contact an experienced DWI attorney serving the New York area. Failing to take a chemical test or field sobriety test could have significant penalties, but consulting with a criminal defense attorney can increase the chances of a successful outcome.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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