What a Buffalo driver is suspected of driving while intoxicated, the police officer who stopped the vehicle usually will ask the driver to perform one or more field sobriety tests.
The purpose of these field sobriety tests is to assist the police officer in assessing the physical and mental condition of the driver.
The finger-to-nose test is a field sobriety test that is commonly used in DWI cases.
While some field sobriety tests have been studied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and approved for use in determining whether a driver is intoxicated by alcohol, the finger-to-nose test has not been approved.
It is, nonetheless, one of the most commonly used field sobriety tests, and a poor performance on the test will usually be admitted as evidence of the driver’s intoxication at trial.
A driver asked to perform this test will be required to stand with his or her feet together and arms held out horizontally to either side.
With eyes closed, the driver will then be commanded by the officer to move one arm straight out in front of his or her body, bend it back at the elbow, and touch the tip of a finger to the tip of the nose.
After touching the nose, the driver then must move his or her arm back to its original position.
The driver usually will be asked to perform this task multiple times using both arms.
Because this test is not standardized, there are many variations used by law enforcement.
For example, the driver may be asked to tip his or her head back and may not be required to reach ahead and bend at the elbow before touching the nose.
The police officer will be looking at how well the driver follows directions and his or her physical coordination.
Failure to properly follow directions, missing the nose, or even swaying while standing may be considered a failure and used as evidence of intoxication.
If you have been arrested for drinking and driving, you need an experienced DWI lawyer who knows how the field sobriety tests may be used against you.
Call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.