Despite what you may see on television, only three FST have been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: walk and turn test, one-leg stand test and HGN test (follow the pen with your eyes). In New Jersey, only the results of the walk and turn and one-leg stand tests are admissible in court; however, even these tests are far from 100% accurate. The results of the tests can be affected by a lot of factors, including: medical conditions, lighting in the area, levelness of the area performed and the type of surface, shoes (or not), age and weight of the person performing the test, the officers manner in conducting the tests, his training, explanation and demonstration of the test. etc...
Why is it important that your attorney understand these tests? Your guilt or innocence, license suspension and potential jail time may be dependent on how well your attorney understands theses tests. For a first offense, if your attorney can find a way to eliminate the Alcotest results and only the FST are found to be valid, your license suspension will only be 3 months, as opposed to 7-12 months. remain and jail time is unlikely. The FST play a more important role in second and subsequent offenses, since you face the same penalties, regardless of whether you are convicted by the Alcotest results or the FST. There is not reduction in penalties, if only the FST are valid, and the likelihood of jail in subsequent offenses is higher, especially third offenses, where a jail term of 180 days in mandatory. So, in subsequent cases, even if your attorney is able to eliminate the Alcotest reading, you'll still be subject to the same penalties, unless he can also successfully challenge the FST.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI/DWI, call my office for a free consultation.
All the best,
Randy C. Redden