When a police officer pulls you over, he or she must have reasonable suspicion for an investigatory traffic stop. This could be for speeding, weaving in and out of your lane of traffic or your car has no license plates. During the initial contact with you, the officer may allege that your eyes were glassy and read, your speech was slurred and that there was an odor of an alcoholic beverage. Based on these alleged observances, the officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform a field sobriety test.
If the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle, then your drunk driving attorney in Vineland will likely focus on this at trial. The traffic stop was illegal if the officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to stop you.
Field sobriety tests consist of three tests that you will either “pass” or “fail” based on what the officer allegedly observed. There are only three tests that are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. These three tests are the One Leg Stand, the Walk and Turn and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Each officer must be able to tell you how to do the test, demonstrate it and observe the results.
Even when an officer explains these tests, demonstrates them and is perfect in his or her evaluation, the tests are not still accurate to 100%. For example, the One Leg Stand test, when estimating whether a subject has a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, is only 65 percent accurate. The Walk and Turn test has an accuracy of only 68 percent. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is no longer considered admissible in New Jersey courts.
There are several things an officer must consider before asking you to perform the tests. He or she should ask if you have any disabilities or injuries that would keep you from performing the test. He or she should also ask you if you are over 65 years old or more than 50 pounds overweight? You should be given a chance to remove your shoes if you have on sandals, flip flops, high heels with a heel more than 2 inches and the test should be performed on a surface that is dry, hard, flat and well-lit.
While urine or blood tests can be used to determine to use the Alcotest 7110 machine, the state also has to show that the machine was working properly and that the officer used the proper procedure when he or she tested you.
The service, repair and calibration records for the machine must be given to your attorney. If the documents aren’t provided by the state, then the results can’t be used against you.
As you can see, there are many complex factors to a Vineland DWI. You attorney must be experienced in New Jersey drunk driving defense. At the Law Office of Stephen Lukach, you will find the aggressive, knowledgeable and experienced Vineland DWI attorney you will want at your side when fighting a DWI charge. He has handled hundreds and possibly thousands of DWIs and he’s ready to fight for you. Call 856-672-1394 to arrange a free consultation.