Field Sobriety Tests - Boston Law - The Fernandez Firm
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Should I take the Field Sobriety Tests?


You have a right to refuse to take field sobriety tests. If you have been drinking and believe you would fail the tests even sober because of the shoes you have on, your lack of coordination, your weight or pre-existing injury then it is best to politely refuse to take the tests.


By refusing you are giving the prosecutor less evidence to convict you. Always be polite act like a gentleman or lady and do not sway or use the car to gain your balance. You have no obligation to perform field sobriety tests; your refusal to perform these tests is inadmissible against you at trial.


The tests are basically useless in detecting intoxication, they test balance and memory and ability to listen and perform physical tasks under a high pressure environment more than anything. By refusing them the prosecutor can’t argue that you failed them. Remember refuse them politely and request to speak with your attorney. If you are rude the Jury or Judge will be told exactly what you said or did which can be worse than failing any type of test.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Teaches police “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” The way police instruct suspects to perform these tests and how they interpret and/or grade the performances varies widely and should be challenged by an experienced OUI attorney.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

  • Heel-to-Toe or Walk-and-Turn
  • One Leg Stand
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
  • Finger-to-Nose “Test”

What are the police looking for on the road when it comes to drunk drivers?


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled a list of symptoms exhibited by drunk drivers

  1. Turning with a wide radius
  2. Straddling center of lane marker
  3. Appearing to be drunk
  4. Almost striking object or vehicle
  5. Weaving
  6. Driving on other than designated highway
  7. Swerving
  8. Speed more than 10 mph below limit
  9. Stopping without cause in traffic lane
  10. Following too closely
  11. Drifting
  12. Tires on center or lane marker
  13. Braking erratically
  14. Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
  15. Signaling inconsistent with driving actions

When an officer approaches me after stopping me, what is he looking for?


The Massachusetts police academy teaches its cadets that symptoms of intoxication are:

  1. Flushed face
  2. Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes
  3. Odor of alcohol on breath
  4. Slurred speech
  5. Fumbling with wallet trying to get license
  6. Failure to comprehend the officer’s questions
  7. Staggering when exiting your vehicle
  8. Swaying/instability on feet
  9. Leaning on car for support
  10. Combative, argumentative, jovial or other “inappropriate” attitude
  11. Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing
  12. Stumbling while walking
  13. Disorientation as to time and place
  14. Inability to follow directions


For more information about this charge please call criminal defense attorney Frank Fernandez for a free consultation.

Frank Fernandez was my lawyer for my case. He did a great job on handeling my case. Frank went out his way to get the proper justice in my defense. He didn't just give up on me Frank skills are great he is a great lawyer and I would tell anyone about his services. He is a good man.
Corey Williams
Corey Williams
15:38 21 Aug 17
Very professional and personable. highly recommended. Cared about my cases.exceeded expectations. Thank You Frank.
Adrian Mojica
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23:53 10 Aug 17
Was very helpful through out the whole process and was able to get good results out of the cases an less than a year which is amazing.
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18:16 08 Jul 17
Very great to work with. Knowledgeable, calm, cool, and collected. Highly recommended.
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08:48 07 Jul 17
I am happy that I chose Frank to be my lawyer, and I will choose him again in the future. Although we agreed that I will pay him more money if my case went to trial, but he did his best to get my case dropped, and in fact the case was dismissed, and I didnt have to go through a trial or pay him extra money. He did all the work and all i had to do was showing up in court, I didnt need to speak a word. Very impressing, Frank is someone you can trust, and I respect him and his work
Remas 20007
Remas 20007
18:31 11 Oct 16
He is an amazing lawyer and I recommend him tremendously! He cares about his clients and I assure you he will try his best to get you the best outcome! Highly thankful that I found him, he goes out of his way to please his clients and is very effective. If you are a latino or hispano do not even hesitate and hire him ASAP.
Maria Jose Escobar Navarro
Maria Jose Escobar Navarro
17:05 04 Oct 16
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John Haniff
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20:51 09 Feb 16
Frank Fernandez should be the first call anyone makes within the Boston area for legal representation. As a working professional, I made a horrible mistake and I was arrested with the potential of spending a lot of time in jail with the potential to have charges escalated. His efforts saved me a lot of potential pain and grief. He came to my rescue when I had no family locally to help me out of the situation my actions caused.I was fortunate that I found him out of the chaotic choices that are out there. Frank is professional and cares about all of the elements which affected the outcome of my case. My life and my career are back on track and I could not have done this without Frank's ability to react and change the course of difficult decisions. Trust, integrity, honesty, alongside the ability to dig deep, are just some of the characteristics of the person who accepted my case in the middle of the night.If you need a sanctuary when you can only see your life taking a change for the worse, call Frank and explain the elements of your case. I've got his card in my car, my wallet, my desk when I've got the potential for any type of legal action. I know he's someone that I can depend upon.I'm not posting for sake of Frank's business, I'm posting to convey my thanks for a difficult set of circumstances that I'll not face due to his ability to think quickly and make reliable decisions in spite of the issues that resulted from my actions.
Tom Coll
Tom Coll
13:41 25 Nov 15