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Field Sobriety Test

When a police officer pulls someone over for a routine traffic violation, you can be rest assured that they will be looking for signs to indicate if that person has been drinking and driving. Regardless of the reason for getting pulled over, if the officer suspects drinking and driving, he or she may have that person take a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests help police officers determine the level of impairment and if additional testing is warranted.
Common field sobriety tests include:

  • Having you follow a pen, finger or small flashlight with your eyes while not moving your head. If the officer sees twitching of the eyeball, that can indicate someone is intoxicated beyond the legal limit of .08 BAC (blood alcohol content). This test is close to 80% accurate.
  • Walk in a straight line for 10 steps pivot on one foot and return to where you started is another test. If you fall, lose your balance, use your arms to keep balanced, these can indicate a higher the .08 BAC. This test is close to 70% accurate.
  • Another test is where you stand on one leg for 30 seconds. Losing your balance, putting the other foot down, using your arms to stay balanced are all indications you could be past the legal limit. This test is close to 70% accurate.
  • Closing your eyes, spreading your arms apart and then touching your nose with your index finger.
  • Reciting the alphabet backwards,

Those are some of the field sobriety test used to determine if you have been drinking and driving beyond the legal limits. Ultimately if the officer suspects you’ve been drinking and driving, he or she may request that you take a chemical test. Usually the chemical test given is a breathalyzer. The other types of tests given are blood tests and urine tests. You don’t get to decide what test you’re going to take, it’s up to the officer. In the state of New York you can consult with your attorney to see if it is best for you to take the test or not. However, refusing to take the test comes with its own penalties and for the most part they are stiffer then if you take the test.   If your test comes back with a BAC of .08 or higher you will be arrested for a DWI.
As mentioned at the top, regardless of why you are pulled over, police officers are trained to look for drunk driving behavior. However, you might have gotten get pulled over because the police officer saw signs that you may be driving while intoxicated. These signs include:

  • Weaving in and out of your lane
  • Driving to fast
  • Driving to slow
  • Stopping in the wrong place
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road

Your best bet is to avoid drinking and driving all together, because it’s hard to say how many drinks will put you over the limit. The reason is that everyone is different. Some people can metabolize alcohol quicker than others. Also the size of the individual plays a factor. So be safe and have a plan so that you don’t drink and drive because getting arrested for DWI isn’t worth it.

 

NY DWI Laws - Age 21 & Older

Below are the fines and sentences for a convicted DWI. Our goal is to get them weakened or dismissed.
1st DWI Offense - Misdemeanor

Fine min $500 - max $1000, Jail up to 1 year
Minimum 6 month revocation

2nd DWI Offense(within 10 years) - Class E Felony

Fine min $1000 - max $5000, Jail up to 4 years
Minimum 1 year revocation

3rd DWI Offense(within 10 years) - Class D Felony

Fine min $2000 - max $10000, Jail up to 7 years
Minimum 1 year revocation