Totowa NJ DWI Defense Attorney: Explaining Field Sobriety Tests in DWI Cases
DWI Defense Lawyer Representing Clients in Passaic County, New Jersey
Alissa D. Hascup is an aggressive DWI defense lawyer with years of experience in NJ courtrooms. Ms. Hascup has successfully represented countless clients who have been charged with alcohol-related offenses, including first offense DWI, DUI (driving under the influence of drugs), and underage DWI in Paterson, Prospect Park, Clifton, Wayne, and throughout Passaic County. She has experience as both a DWI defense attorney and a DWI prosecutor, who regularly prosecuted DWI matters.
Contact Alissa Hascup today for a free consultation about your DWI case. Keep reading this page for more information about DWI charges and field sobriety tests in New Jersey.
Field Sobriety Tests in New Jersey DWI Prosecutions
In New Jersey, a police officer typically administers a field sobriety test before requesting that a driver submit to a breath test. Field sobriety tests are used as probable cause for a DWI arrest. After making the initial traffic stop, an officer will use any and all of the following when determining whether probable cause exists for an arrest:
- Observations of the driver’s appearance and behavior, including bloodshot and watery eyes, an odor of alcohol, and slow physical movements.
- Admissions made by the driver, including an admission to drinking prior to operating the vehicle.
- Field sobriety testing.
The three (3) most common field sobriety tests used by NJ police officers are:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (also known as “the HGN Test”). This test involves observation of the driver’s pupil as it follows a moving object.
- The Walk-and-Turn Test. This test requires the driver to complete heel-to-toe steps while walking from one point to another. This test must be performed on a hard, dry, and level surface.
- The One-Leg Stand Test. This test requires the driver to lift one foot off the ground while pointing to his toes. This test must also be performed under certain conditions, including a hard, dry, and level surface.
Challenging the Results of a Field Sobriety Test in Your New Jersey DWI Case
Although field sobriety tests are initially used by investigating officers to determine whether probable cause exists for an arrest, the results of these tests are also used by NJ prosecutors. In the absence of breath test results, the results of field sobriety tests are a critical part of the prosecution’s case. Many times, Ms. Hascup is able to challenge the results of these tests. If the police officer failed to administer the test in a prescribed and standardized manner, Ms. Hascup may be able to get the results thrown out in your case. Additionally, because the HGN test has not been proven to be scientifically reliable, the results of the HGN test are not admissible at trial.
In all New Jersey DWI cases, prosecutors rely on the Alcotest 7110 breath-testing device. In 2008, the Alcotest replaced the Breathalyzer in NJ DWI cases. Ms. Hascup’s expertise in this area gives her a huge advantage when challenging the admissibility of the breath-test result in your DWI case.
Contact a Totowa NJ DWI Field Sobriety Test Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Call or email Alissa Hascup without delay so that she can look over the breath test results in your DWI case and formulate a strategy to help you.