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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)

When the officer asks you step out of your vehicle he may ask you to perform physical tests to help him determine if you are sober, intoxicated, or impaired by alcohol.

These tests include the 9-Step Walk and Turn Test, the One Leg Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Some officers may choose to administer additional tests, including asking to you blow into a pre-screening device, recite the alphabet, pick up coins, or touch your finger to your nose.

SFST’s are divided attention tests designed to test your ability to understand instructions, follow those instructions, and perform mental and physical tasks simultaneously. These tests are not reliable indicators of a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Especially, while you are standing on the side of the road, with a police officer barking orders, cars are whizzing past you and police lights flashing in your eyes.

Remember that these tests, at best, are only as good as the officer who administers them. If the officer does not perform the test correctly, the test is invalid as well as the results. Only an experienced and skilled attorney in handling a DWI case will know whether the test is performed correctly and how to discredit the officer’s testimony regarding your performance on those tests.

If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call DerGarabedian, Nathan, Marino & Rodriguez at (516) 766-1619 or schedule a consultation and review. The initial consultation is free of charge.

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