What Doesn’t Count As A Field Sobriety Test?

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What Doesn’t Count As A Field Sobriety Test?
February 22, 2019

What Doesn’t Count As A Field Sobriety Test?

Posted in : First Page Attorney
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Attorney for OUI Charges in Springfield, MA

Did your conversation with an officer during a pull-over in Massachusetts evolve into a test?

It can be hard during these stressful moments to figure out whether or not the officer really had probable cause to continue with other versions of testing, such as a blood alcohol test. This information, however, becomes extremely important when you need to fight back against any OUI charges and try to protect your freedoms.

However, not everything about an officer’s conduct at the scene is always accurate. Recognizing when it’s right to challenge and ask further questions about the field sobriety test is key.  Sometimes an officer tries to do a range of tests for their own reasons, but this can move too far away from the tests that officers are supposed to use in order to determine whether or not a person is likely under the influence of alcohol.

Field Sobriety Tests In Massachusetts

There are three accepted field sobriety tests. Each of these can be declined by you, but it’s a bad idea to say something like, “I can’t do this.” If you don’t start the test and then make an admission like that, then your criminal defense attorney is able to file motions to stop the prosecutor from using the refusal of the test as some kind of evidence about your impairment.

Was The Stop Legal?

If your lawyer can show that the officer had no reason to stop you on that specific day or night, this calls into question the entirety of the arrest. Furthermore, if you can show that the officer deviated from standard procedure in the testing protocol, this raises questions about the officer’s overall understanding of protocol and approach to detail. Raising doubts about either one of these can have impacts on your case outcome.

As soon as you can after an arrest, you need to make notes of what happened. Sharing this detail with your OUI Criminal Defense Lawyer helps you determine whether or not the officer crossed the line. If that happened, you might have grounds to fight back and claim that the arrest never should have occurred to begin with. If the officer asked you to sing songs or recite historical facts, for example, this is not an established field sobriety test.


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