Attorneys Representing Clients In

New Hampshire And Massachusetts

Failed sobriety test may lead to need for criminal defense

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

A person does not necessarily break the law by consuming an alcoholic beverage and later operating a motor vehicle. Obviously, it is easiest to avoid DUI charges in New Hampshire by completely abstaining from alcohol when planning to drive. However, there are times when some will be within their legal rights to get behind the wheel but still wind up needing criminal defense support after a traffic stop.

If a New Hampshire police officer pulls a driver over and asks him or her to step out of the vehicle, the officer may suspect driver intoxication. The officer may request that the driver take a field sobriety test. There are no penalties for refusing; however, many people think it is better to comply and cooperate as much as possible during a traffic stop.

Depending on which field sobriety test the officer in question administers, he or she may be observing a driver’s ability to balance, walk without tripping or stumbling, or to track an object using only his or her eyes. In a one-leg stance test, a driver must stand on one leg with arms at his or her sides, perhaps tilting the head toward the sky while counting numbers aloud at the same time. Inability to do this for approximately 30 seconds might lead to a failing test result. A walk-and-turn test is also a balance test where the participant holds arms out at shoulder length and then walks a straight line with the heel of one foot meeting the toes of the other.

If a driver fails a field sobriety test, the officer who administered the test may have cause to place him or her under arrest for suspected drunk driving. DUI allegations can cause a lot of problems in a person’s academic or professional career and personal life. Most people request legal representation right away so that they have criminal defense support as the adjudication process unfolds, and especially if a case winds up going to trial.