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New Jersey Roadside Field Sobriety Tests for DUI

If you are someone who goes out drinking with friends and then thinks that you can get away with driving home, you are making a mistake that could have a lasting impact on your life and the lives of others. You cannot accurately judge your level of impairment, so the safe and smart thing to do is just don’t drink and drive.

If you choose to ignore this advice that has been the subject of public service announcements for decades, you could get pulled over by a police officer if they suspect you might be driving under the influence. A DUI can result in felony charges, which can have life-altering consequences for you. You need to have an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer by your side to assert and defend your rights.

What are the most common roadside tests used by the police?

There are three standardized tests that were developed for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the 1980s. Police officers receive training to help them become skillful at detecting DWI suspects. The tests were designed to give police officers a systematic method for describing the behavior of DUI suspects and how to present effective testimony in court.

The three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) recommended by the NHTSA are:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test
  • The walk and turn test
  • The one-leg stand test

Police officers must give clear instruction when they ask you to perform these tests, and they must repeat them if you are not clear about what they are instructing you to do.

In New Jersey, you do have the right to refuse (respectfully) to take a field sobriety test. However, the officer can still arrest you on suspicion of DUI if he or she has probable cause, such as smelling alcohol on your breath, seeing your glassy eyes or hearing your slurred speech.

While the federal government has devised these tests, they have been proven to have limited reliability. If the weather was poor, the road surface was not flat or even, or if the suspect was wearing high heels, it can have a negative impact on the accuracy of the results.

Just because someone has been charged with DUI does not mean that they are guilty. If you are arrested for DUI after a field sobriety test in New Jersey, seek advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in New Jersey: or fill out our contact form now.