One thing that DWI clients are often confused about is what orders they must comply with from police officers when they get stopped. What seems to confuse people is that there are penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test. However, there are no penalties for refusing the standard field sobriety test.
When an Officer Can Pull You Over and Test You
An officer can pull you over if he sees you commit a traffic violation or if he has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence. In order for the DWI investigation to proceed, the police officer will need probable cause that you are operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Signs an officer will look for to determine probable cause:
- Slurred speech
- Glassy eyes
- Smell of alcohol
- Alcohol or pill containers
Standard Field Sobriety Test
If you are pulled over, an officer may ask you to complete a field sobriety test. This includes tests such as:
- One leg stand
- Walk and turn
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus, which looks for involuntary eye movement.
You can refuse to perform any of these tests. Failure to do so will not result in an additional citation or license suspension.
If you choose to proceed with the field sobriety test, you can argue to a court after the fact that the test is not reliable in your case based on:
- The location of the test. If the area the test is taken in is busy, has bright lights or uneven street, you may be able to argue the results of your field sobriety test should not be given weight.
- Your health and abilities. Another consideration is if you are an elderly driver, have inner ear issues or injuries in your knees or hips.
Under New Jersey implied consent laws, drivers must however take a breath test or risk driver’s license suspension.
- If it is your first time to refuse a breath test, your license can be suspended for seven months.
- If it is your second time to refuse a breath test, your license can be suspended for two years.
- If it is your third time to refuse a breath test, your license can be suspended for ten years.
You will also be required to pay fines.
Call 732-662-7658 today for a free consultation.
If you have been pulled over for or charged with DWI, contacting a skilled New Jersey DUI lawyer will mean that your rights will be protected. The Law Offices of Leon Matchin focuses on DWI law and have represented many people facing DWI charges over the course of a decade in New Jersey. We know the law and process to get you the best possible results. Your first meeting with the law firm is free.