Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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Problems with field sobriety tests

In New Jersey, you cannot be stopped by law enforcement based solely on a suspicion of intoxication. Officers must have other reasons such as speeding, failing to obey a traffic signal or even a non-functioning headlight in order to pull you over. Once you are stopped, however, an officer can ask you to submit to certain tests if intoxication is suspected. This may include a breath test to get a read on your BAC level. You may also be asked to agree to a field sobriety test.

There are actually three different type of tests administered as field sobriety tests according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Two of these tests actually measure multiple things including your ability to understand directions, your ability to follow directions and some basic physical functioning as well. In the one-legged stand test, you must balance evenly on one leg for 30 seconds without leveraging your arms, swaying or hopping to retain your balance. In the walk-and-turn test, you have to take nine steps forward and back with precise heel-to-toe alignment while maintaining an exact straight line. These two tests can be difficult for people with certain physical problems and may lead to false results.

The third test checks your eyes for certain clues that can indicate intoxication and be part of how you are arrested for drunk driving. However, the same things that an officer can see in your eyes that may lead him or her to believe you have been operating under the influence can also be witnessed if you have taken certain medications such as those used to control seizures.

The legal professionals at The Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr. have helped many New Jersey residents who have been arrested for drunk driving.

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Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.
514 Brick Boulevard, Suite 6
Brick, NJ 08723

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