Breath Test And Field Sobriety Laws

The majority of DUI/DWI cases in New Jersey are made using some form of a field sobriety test. Being convicted of a DUI can have serious consequences such as jail time, steep fines, and loss of license. To obtain a conviction of a DUI/DWI charge, the prosecution relies on the results of field sobriety tests and breath-alcohol tests, which are best known by their trade names: Breathalyzer® and Alcotest. These tests are admissible in court as evidence, but they are not infallible.

At the law offices of Smith & Gaynor in Morristown, New Jersey, we understand the intricacies involved in a DUI/DWI case, and what needs to be done in order to protect the rights of the accused. We have defended hundreds of people in Morris County and in surrounding communities against drunk driving charges. As skilled trial attorneys, we know how to attack the reliability and results of these tests and defeat the prosecution's case against you. To schedule your cost-free consultation today, contact us online or by telephone at 973-532-2661.

Law Firm Defends Field Sobriety Tests Morris, New Jersey

In order for an officer to arrest you for DUI, they must first determine if probable cause for an arrest exists. This can be established by conducting a Field Sobriety Test. These tests are notoriously unreliable. Even people who are well under the legal limit may have problems with field sobriety tests. These are tests of your balance, agility and vision. A field sobriety test often includes:

  • Standing on one leg: If you are fatigued, suffer from arthritis, are too cold, are elderly or have balance problems, chances are you will not pass this test, even if you had nothing to drink
  • The balance test: Often referred to as a Romberg test, this requires you to stand at attention, close your eyes and tilt your head back and hold that position for 30 seconds. As with standing on one leg, this may be difficult for many people to accomplish, particularly those with inner-ear problems or arthritis in the neck or upper back
  • Walking heel-to-toe in a straight line: The same problems as above. Also difficult for women wearing high heels.
  • Touching your nose: With your eyes closed, you are asked to touch your nose with your index finger, an exercise that is difficult for many older people or those who suffer from even mild vertigo.
  • Nystagmus: The police officer will ask you to follow an object that is held about 12 inches from your face. This may be difficult for people with certain types of vision problems, even if they are corrected with glasses or contacts

Alcohol Breath Test Randolph, New Jersey, Lawyers

Once probable cause exists for a DUI arrest, officers will then move to test your Blood Alcohol Content. The majority of DUI prosecutions in New Jersey rely on the results of one of two tests. The first is what is known as a Portable Breath Test (PBT). It is a device used to test drivers' BAC levels during roadside stops, and is carried in most police cars. The second is the Alcotest 7110, more commonly known as the "Breathalyzer." It is administered by trained personnel at police stations.

While it is legally possible to decline to take either of these tests, if you decline you can be charged with Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test in addition to the standard DWI charge. In New Jersey the law requires you to take a breath test if you are arrested for a DUI. When you receive your driver's license, part of the agreement is giving consent to these charges, this is what is know as "implied consent."

Call our Morristown offices to discuss your case

As previously stated, both field sobriety tests as well as breath tests can be unreliable. However, you will need an attorney experienced in fighting DUI/DWI cases. The Morris County, New Jersey law firm of Smith & Gaynor, LLC, has long experience dealing with breath test results. We understand how to question the State's case at every turn, whether it be in the execution of your field sobriety test, or in the application of the Portable Breath Test or Alcotest. To schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and talk about your options, please contact us online or call us at 973-532-2661 today.

Se habla español.