Field Sobriety Testing in Milford DUI Cases
Connecticut law provides for a wide variety of field sobriety tests, also known as FST’s, in DUI cases. These tests may consist of one or more of the following:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (where the officer makes the individual follow a penlight with the eyes)
- Alphabet recitation
- Modified position of attention
- Hand pat test
During a DUI traffic stop, most officers will use between three and five of these tests in order to check for alcohol impairment. If you have been involved in a traffic stop, it is important that you request the presence of legal counsel prior to answering any questions from a law enforcement officer and/or consenting to Milford field sobriety testing.
A knowledgeable Milford DUI defense lawyer can meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case and can assist you with your case. An attorney may also be able to help you obtain a charge reduction or a favorable plea deal with the prosecution.
Rights During a Stop
It is important to understand that no one is required to answer potentially incriminating questions which are asked by a police officer. Once stopped, the individual should politely request the presence of legal counsel prior to answering any police questions.
Under Connecticut law, an individual does not have a right to the presence of counsel until refusing or submitting to Milford field sobriety testing, which can include blood, breath, or urine testing. An individual may consult with an attorney before deciding to submit or refuse to chemical testing.
Deciding Whether or Not to Take a Field Sobriety Test
It is important to understand that individuals are not legally required to take or perform any Milford field sobriety tests. In most cases, police officers have already made up their minds about whether or not they are going to arrest someone, prior to that person taking a field sobriety test.
Actually going through with the test only gives the officer more potential evidence to introduce later on in the case.
Horizontal Gaze Test
The horizontal gaze test – or penlight test – requires that the arrestee use their eyes to follow the officer’s penlight. The purpose of this test is to estimate the angle at which the individual’s eye begins to jerk.
If this eye oscillation takes place sooner than 45 degrees, this generally points to a blood alcohol concentration of over .05%. The smoothness of the eye’s ability to track the pen may also be a factor in determining the person’s blood alcohol concentration.
Refusing to Take a Chemical Test
Chemical tests include blood, breath, and urine tests and are given for the purpose of finding out the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. Unlike breathalyzer tests, refusing to take a chemical test can result in large penalties.
Under Connecticut law, if an officer requests that an individual take a blood, breath, or urine test and the individual refuses, the individual’s license will be administratively suspended for a minimum of six months.
Talk to a Milford DUI Defense Attorney Today
When it comes to DUI charges, it is essential that you have an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side who knows the law and who can advise you accordingly.
Contact a Milford DUI defense lawyer at any time, for a free initial consultation.