Law enforcement officers that suspect a driver is intoxicated will conduct a series of tests to confirm these suspicions. The results of these tests will play an important role in your DWI case, so it’s important to understand how the tests are conducted and used to determine intoxication.
An Overview of Field Sobriety Testing
Field sobriety testing is done to determine whether a person is physically impaired and should be arrested and brought back to the police station for breath testing. The most common tests are Horizontal Gaze Nystagmist test (HGN), the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. These tests are designed to have an objective criteria for determining pass or fail, but in reality it takes very little to fail them.
The officer will explain and demonstrate each test and then watch closely to see how well you perform. During these tests, the officer will look for clues of intoxication. For example, failing to balance on one leg could indicate that you are intoxicated since alcohol can affect your coordination. However, there are other reasons why this can occur. Back, leg, and foot problems create obvious limitations to these tests. But, lack of coordination, nervousness, and even uncomfortable shoes can cause these results as well. This illustrates why these tests are so flawed.
An Overview of Breath Testing Information
Law enforcement officers can measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) using a breathalyzer device known as an Alcotest. These devices are designed to measure the amount of alcohol that is on the breath exhaled from your lungs. Based on this number, the device can determine how much alcohol is in your blood.
Alcotest devices do not always produce accurate results. In fact, a number of factors can skew the accuracy of these results. Many times the officer running the breath test does not follow all of the prescribed procedures required for a valid breath test. The most important of these procedures is a 20-minute observation period, where the officer was look for belching, vomiting, coughing, having something in your mouth (including retainers and dentures), or other things that might contaminate the results. Another way we can challenge the results is by challenging the proper working order of the machine. Because a successful challenge of the machine will result is your results being thrown out, the results of breathalyzer devices are often challenged in DWI cases. Steven W. Hernandez is a Certified Alcotest 7110 Operator and has successfully challenged hundreds of readings.
What Are DWI and DUI Blood Tests?
A sample of blood can also be drawn and tested to determine if the driver is intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by drugs. Blood tests are believed to be far more accurate than other chemical tests, including urine and breath test, but, they are not perfect. Errors made during the collection, transportation, storing, and testing of the blood sample could lead to inaccurate results. For example, if the sample of blood was not refrigerated correctly before it was tested, it may falsely show that the driver is intoxicated. An experienced attorney will need to closely analyze how the sample was drawn, stored, and tested to determine if the results are accurate.
Let Expert DWI Attorney Steven Hernandez Analyze Your DUI and DWI Test Results & Fight for the Justice Your Deserve
As a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense, Steven W. Hernandez has received advanced training in standardized field sobriety testing. In 2010, he completed the DUI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course, the same course offered to police officer throughout the country to detect impaired drivers. In 2011, Mr. Hernandez became one of a handful of lawyers in New Jersey to become an Instructor in DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing.
In addition, Steven Hernandez is the only New Jersey lawyer with his Forensic Sobriety Assessment (FSA) certificate, by demonstrating knowledge of the science and forensic use of roadside sobriety testing.
If you are facing DWI charges, seek legal representation from Steven Hernandez at once. Let Steven use his knowledge, expert legal skills, and resources to fight your charges. Schedule a free consultation by calling 732-286-2700 today!