Field Sobriety Tests in New Jersey | What to Know

Field Sobriety Tests in New Jersey | What to Know

If you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you will likely be asked to take a field sobriety test in order to help determine your level of inebriation. Read on to learn more about field sobriety tests in New Jersey.

Common Field Sobriety Tests

The three most common tests that have been standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: When the driver is asked to track the officer’s pen, finger, or flashlight with their eyes and without moving their head. During this test, the officer is looking for any unsteady movement in the eye, which is called Nystagmus. 
  • Walk and Turn Test: There are two parts to this test. First, the driver has to stand with their right foot in front of their left with their arms at their sides. The second step is to walk heel to toe and properly turn. Failure to complete this test without falling can be seen as a sign of intoxication. 
  • One Leg Stand Test: This test involves the driver standing on one foot and counting to 30. If the driver loses their balance at all or loses perception of time, it may be a clue of intoxication. 

Can I refuse a sobriety test in New Jersey?

It is important to know that drivers in New Jersey are legally allowed to refuse participation in field sobriety tests. These tests are voluntary and you cannot be ticketed for refusing a test.  

Defenses for a failed field sobriety test:

If you fail a field sobriety test, a criminal defense attorney may be able to argue a number of defenses. Common defenses include:

  • The officer did not demonstrate the test
  • The officer did not inform the individual that they may remove high heels
  • The officer did not read all the instructions
  • The individual has health issues preventing them from passing the test

If you are facing charges for a DWI in New Jersey, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Our firm will work to have your charges reduced or even dropped. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Contact our Firm 

The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC has over 25 years of experience helping clients through tough times when they need it most. If you need assistance with any intellectual property, traffic violations, or business law matters, our firm is here to help. It is critical that you pick the right attorney who can protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation.