Many people who face DWI charges may have avoided legal troubles if they understood their rights during the DWI traffic stop. First, you have the right to remain silent – and you should exercise that right. You should never lie, but you also should not answer the officer’s questions because the prosecuting authority can use your statements as evidence against you.
Second, you should never consent to field sobriety tests. Taking FSTs will not help your case. These evaluations are subjective in nature, and even sober people can fail them. For this reason, you can refuse field sobriety tests without legal consequences.
As the American Automobile Association explains, there are three standardized field sobriety tests in New York:
- The Walk-and-Turn Test;
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test;
- And the One-Leg Stand Test.
Although you can refuse these tests without penalties, it is important to remember that New York is an implied consent state, which means that all drivers consent to a chemical test – a blood, breath, or urine test – after a legal traffic stop. If you refuse this test, then you will face consequences.
If New York police charged you with DWI, contact Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. As your White Plains DWI lawyer, Mr. DeUrso will aggressively defend your interests and fight for a positive outcome to your case.
Schedule a consultation today by calling 914-772-8614. In the meantime, read on to learn more about the three standardized field sobriety tests:
- The Walk-and-Turn Test
As its name implies, the walk-and-turn test requires the suspect to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line. He or she then turns on one foot and returns to the starting point in the same heel-to-toe manner.
During the walk-and-turn test, the officer looks for these signs of impairment:
- Suspect cannot follow instructions;
- Suspect cannot maintain balance;
- Suspect cannot touch heel to toe;
- Suspect stops while walking due to loss of balance;
- Suspect cannot maintain balance while turning;
- Suspect uses arms for balance;
- Suspect takes too many or too few steps;
- Or the suspect cannot maintain a straight trajectory.
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the HGN test evaluates the degree of nystagmus of the suspect’s eyes. This is an involuntary jerk of the eyes as they move from side to side. People who are drunk usually have exaggerated nystagmus.
- The One-Leg Stand Test
During the one-leg stand test, the suspect raises his or her foot 6 inches off the ground and counts aloud until the officer instructs the suspect to lower his or her foot. This test usually lasts 30 seconds. Signs of impairment include:
- Suspect puts foot down before being instructed to do so;
- Suspect hops to maintain balance;
- And suspect cannot maintain balance without using arms.
If you are facing DWI charges, your first call should be to a criminal attorney. Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law is a White Plains DWI lawyer who can investigate your arrest, structure your defense, and help you navigate the legal system. Schedule a consultation today by calling 914-772-8614.