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Challenging Breath-Testing Device Results And Field Sobriety Tests

People who are pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The police officer will likely ask the driver to submit to a breath test or field sobriety test, and, if there is probable cause for doing so, the driver’s refusal to take the test can result in the suspension of his or her driver’s license.

If you have been pulled over, we can help. At Fishman & Fishman, LLC, our lawyers are committed to aggressively defending clients from charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI), by challenging the findings of breath tests and field sobriety tests, among other aspects of the case.

A Breath Test Result Does Not Equal Conviction

It is well-known that the results of roadside-administered breath tests are often inaccurate and unreliable. Field sobriety tests are designed to make you fail in order to provide the officer with probable cause for your arrest or for administering a breath test.

  • Can you stand on one leg for a set period of time? This is the One-Leg Stand (OLS) test, and it can be problematic for anyone, including a sober person with or without balance issues.
  • Can you walk a straight line, placing each foot in front of the other from heel to toe? This is called the Walk-and-Turn (WAT) test, and it can be extremely challenging for anyone when an officer is watching and judging your every move.
  • Can you follow an officer’s finger or another object with your eyes? This is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. The officer is watching to see how your eyes move as an indicator – albeit, an unreliable one – of intoxication or sobriety.
  • Can you say the alphabet backward effectively with zero alcohol in your system? Most people cannot not do this, even completely sober.

These are just some of the tests that may be administered to provide an officer with information that helps him or her decide whether or not to administer a breath test. In most cases, a breath test is administered. While it is possible to refuse a breath test, New Jersey’s implied consent law means that every driver, by holding a driver’s license, consents to a breath test. Refusal comes with its own set of consequences.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Rights And Keep Your Driver’s License?

The first step is having an experienced DWI defense lawyer on your side. At Fishman & Fishman, LLC, we are led by partner Arnold Fishman, an attorney with 50 years of experience in this complex area of municipal court defense law. As a result of one of his landmark cases, there are specific protocols that must be followed for the results of these tests to be admissible by the prosecution. The key questions in your case will be: “Did the state have probable cause?” and “Were the tests administered properly?”

Protect Your Rights. Contact Fishman & Fishman, LLC.

If you have been arrested for DWI as a result of roadside tests or breath testing, put our experience on your side. Call us toll-free at 888-339-7675 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. We represent clients in Cherry Hill, Camden County and across southern New Jersey from offices in Lawnside and Hammonton.

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