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Field Sobriety Tests (FST) are roadside balancing and coordination tests administered by police officers to determine whether or not to arrest someone for an OUI in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, if law enforcement requires you to perform an FST, they have already determined that you will be arrested and these tests are used to collect more information to establish probable cause.
If you are asked to take an FST in Massachusetts, you are under no legal obligation to take them and can refuse them without any negative consequences. An FST refusal cannot be admitted into evidence.
There are a variety of ways to contest FST’s result and challenge the officer’s conclusion that you failed these tests. Physical conditions - such as your weight, age, and health concerns - can make performing these tests difficult. Weather conditions can make balancing on one foot or walking a straight line challenging, as well as conditions of the road, such as if it is on a hill or a steep incline. On the other hand, there is a possibility that the arresting officer administered the tests incorrectly.
While given under ideal conditions, The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports have shown that these tests have minimal reliability. According to the NHTSA study, The One Leg Stand test had a 65% reliability rate, the Walk and Turn test was 68% reliable, while the Horizontal Gaze test had a 71% reliability rate.
At The Law Offices of Jesse Adams, we are ready to thorough review your case and determine all of your available legal options in order to obtain the most favorable results possible. Attorney Adams has been helping clients throughout Northampton and the surrounding area for more than 10 years. Do not hesitate to get experienced legal help today.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation immediately.