What are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST)?
At the Coughlin Law Group, we are not only familiar with all of the field sobriety tests currently being used by Massachusetts law enforcement, but we know the flaws that are inherent in each and how to help our clients who are charged with DUI/OUI because they do not perform well when asked to complete these evaluations.
In some cases, you may have refused the Breathalyzer or failed the sobriety test. Either way, we encourage you to contact us immediately after an arrest and schedule a free consultation by calling 24 hours a day at 617-758-8888.
What Happens In A Field Test?
A police officer has broad discretion when administering a field sobriety test. Even if you are sober, it may be in your interests to refuse to take a field test. These tests are designed to be difficult for most people to take, even if they were not drinking. Tests can include:
- A one-leg stand test, where a driver will be asked to stand in place with both arms remaining at his or her sides, and one foot slightly elevated approximately six inches off the ground. The officer will look for swaying and loss of balance.
- The walk and turn test, in which a driver will walk forward with his or her feet heel to toe. The driver must then turn around and walk back. Once again, the officer will be keeping an eye out for any signs of intoxication.
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus, which involves watching a small object (typically a pen or flashlight) in front of your face and dangled from side to side. The officer will be watching for signs of nystagmus — an involuntary jerking of the eyes that is often seen in intoxicated individuals. People on certain medications or with eye problems may involuntarily exhibit this reaction.
In some other situations, an officer might choose to administer a nonstandardized test (any test other than the three mentioned above), but the court may determine that the results cannot be used against you. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers can help determine whether your test results were properly administered and should be legally admissible in court. We will make the appropriate motions if there are problems so that they are excluded.
Arrested For Drunk Driving And Facing DWI Charges? Contact Us Today.
Remember, the penalties for driving under the influence can include fines, probation, license suspension, and even jail time. Fortunately, with the right legal representation, you may be able to avoid such consequences. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Boston DUI attorney at the Coughlin Law Group, call 617-758-8888 or contact our Massachusetts firm online.