After a driver is pulled over by law enforcement, and if the law enforcement officer wants to determine whether the driver may be impaired, the law enforcement officer may ask the driver to step out of the car or motor vehicle in order to perform a few standardized field sobriety tests in Maine.
The purpose of the standardized field sobriety tests in Maine is not to test of your physical fitness, and they are not a definitive measure of driver’s “sobriety.” In fact, the field sobriety tests in Maine examine a person’s ability to divide his or her attention among multiple tasks, such as hold one leg out straight in front while listening to instructions and following them.
Common Types of Field Sobriety Tests in Maine
- Follow the pen with the eyes, otherwise known as HGN: Sometimes this exam is performed at a doctor’s checkup. You follow the tip of the law enforcement officer’s pen with your eyes.
- The “walk and turn”: A law enforcement officer may ask you to “walk the line” with one foot in front of the other, heel to toe and then turn in a prescribed fashion and then walk back.
- Stand on One Leg: A law enforcement officer may ask you to stand on one leg and hold the other leg out in front of the while counting forwards.
It is important to understand that a driver’s “success” or “failure” in these field sobriety tests in Maine by itself is not “proof” that the driver is “impaired.” They only provide the police officer with probable cause to believe that you probably are impaired, at which time the cop would take you to the station for a blood alcohol test.
Also, the standardized field sobriety tests in Maine are not flawless. The law enforcement officer needs to be trained properly to administer these tests, and the tests need to be executed correctly. If the law enforcement officer provides incorrect or poor instructions to execute the test, and the driver is said to have “failed,” how do we know that it was not the instructions that were not up to par?
Also, the driver’s physical and medical conditions need to be taken into account. Importantly, the law enforcement officer is responsible for asking the driver whether he or she is taking any medications prescribed by a doctor or have any medical conditions or injuries that may interfere with the driver’s ability to perform the standardized field sobriety tests in Maine. If the law enforcement officer fails to ask this question, then the results of the standardized field sobriety tests in Maine can possibly be incorrect.
If you or someone you know is facing a charge of OUI / DUI / DWI, and took the field sobriety tests in Maine, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer!