Field Sobriety Tests in New Mexico
Field sobriety tests are often administered during drunk driving traffic stops in the greater Albuquerque, NM area as a way for a law enforcement officer to assess a person’s driving ability. If you performed poorly on a field sobriety test during a traffic stop, you should seek the help of an experienced DWI lawyer to help you fight to defend your innocence.
Field Sobriety Test Need-to-Knows
If administered correctly, field sobriety tests can be a reliable way to determine the degree to which a person’s coordination and reaction time may be impaired. In order for field sobriety tests to be admissible evidence in a DWI case:
- The test must be administered by a law enforcement officer trained to conduct the test and accurately assess a person’s performance.
- Field sobriety tests must be administered in accordance with height/weight guidelines outlined in the traffic safety manual. (The manual provides alternate tests for overweight individuals and those over 55 years of age.)
Field sobriety tests cannot be passed or failed. A person simply does well or poorly. If someone poorly performs on a field sobriety test, reasonable cause may then exist for further chemical BAC testing. Unlike chemical BAC testing, field sobriety tests may be refused without penalty.
Defense against Poor Field Sobriety Test Performance
Field sobriety testing is not an exact science. A number of factors besides alcohol consumption, such as a person’s weight and/or medical condition, can negatively affect a person’s performance. An experienced DWI defense lawyer can help defend your innocence in the event of a poor field sobriety test.
The criminal defense attorneys at Patrick J. Martinez & Associates have years of experience investigating the circumstances surrounding a drunk driving arrest. We know the guidelines that must be followed for field sobriety tests to be admissible evidence, and we know your rights. We help you fight against unjustified DWI charges and protect your civil rights throughout the criminal justice process. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation at our Albuquerque, NM office.