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New Jersey Field Sobriety Tests

In New Jersey, if you get pulled over on suspicion of a DWI, you are likely to face a battery of tests called the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). The are the “acrobatic” tests that police as drivers to perform at roadside. There are three tests, the straight line walk and turn, the one leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus- following the officer’s finger or pen with your eyes. The problem with these tests are they do not measure alcohol levels and just because someone fails them does not mean they were intoxicated.

Many people may perform poorly on them. Some include those who are:

  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Has suffered leg or back injuries
  • Suffering from illness
  • Women wearing heels
  • Clumsy
  • Extremely nervous or scared

Despite all of these flaws, judges often believe the assessment of the police officer and give a lot of weight to performance on these tests. This is why it is important for anyone charged with a DWI to consult a professional DWI attorney who has experience with challenging the SFSTs. Attorney Steven W. Hernandez has extensive training and multiple certifications in field sobriety testing.