There are three Field Sobriety Tests (FST) approved by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Attorney Hynes has completed the:
Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certification Student Course (NHTSA Course) -
This is the class that police take in order to be able to administer field sobriety tests.
The first test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN). This test is the most accurate of the three, but is also the most subjective. In the test, the officer will have you follow a pen with your eyes. He will check for nystagmus, seeing if your eyes jerk/bounce. People who are intoxicated will have their eyes involuntarily jerk when following the object. However, this test, like the others, is only accurate if the police officer does it properly. Many times they will not. Attorney Hynes has experience cross examining officers to determine how the officer failed to give the test properly. Further, medical conditions can affect this test.
The second test is the One Leg Stand. For this test the officer has you stand on one leg for 30 seconds. He then sees if you do other things such as swaying. Medical conditions also affect this test. Especially if you are older, overweight, or have any back, knee, or leg problems.
The third test is the Walk and Turn. In this test you will be asked to take 9 steps in one direction, turn in a certain way, and then take 9 steps back. This is the most complicated test and has many things the officer looks for, which accordingly has many ways the officer will think you failed the test. Again this test needs to be administered correctly and in an appropriate environment. Attorney Hynes knows what to look for to see if the officer did everything by the book, and to question the officer to see if he actually observed what he thought he did.
The most accurate of the tests for alcohol is a blood test. This test also can check be used to check for drugs, which the breath test cannot. The test is often given at a hospital. The test must be provided by a certified person. Further, there are steps that person must take to ensure proper administration of the test. You have a right to have the blood sample independently tested, but you have to inform the State crime lab to hold your blood so they do not destroy it.
There are two types of breath tests police will use in New Hampshire. The first is a roadside portable breath test (PBT). This test measures the alcohol on your breath / mouth alcohol. This test is often grossly inaccurate at it does not detect lung alcohol. This test is always optional, and there is no administrative license penalty for refusing to provide a portable / roadside. It may make sense for you to refuse to give a sample, although the police officer will likely use this decision to decide whether to arrest you.
The second, more accurate breath alcohol test is the full test at the police station. The present model breath machine being used by New Hampshire is the Intoxilyzer 5000.Before giving you the test, the arresting officer will likely read you a form going over some of your rights in regard to the test. This test is also optional, but if you refuse it, you will lose your license for 6 months or 2 years, in addition to any license loss that may result if you are convicted of the criminal DUI charge.
However, if you give a sample that comes back .16 or higher, you will be charged with Aggravated DWI and face mandatory jail time. It may make sense to ask to speak to a lawyer first, if the police will allow it.
The person who administers the test must be certified, and the machine itself must be certified. A good DWI lawyer will be able to see if the person gave the test correctly, and if the machine operated correctly. You also have the right to get the breath sample you have been provided with independently tested. Attorney Hynes has experience to help.
"I was charged with Aggravated DWI for driving without a license, getting in a car accident, and giving a breath sample of .20. Attorney Hynes explained to me that if I was convicted there would be mandatory jail time, with up to a year in jail. Thankfully, Attorney Hynes was able to point out potential problems with the breath test, and the prosecutor dismissed the aggravated DWI charge, and I was able to stay out of jail."
Danielle T. - Nashua, NH
"I was charged with Conduct after an accident for leaving the scene of an accident. I already had a couple of major moving violations, and one more would make me a habitual offender and make me lose my license for at least a year. I was also facing jail time if convicted. Attorney Hynes took the case to trial and I was found not guilty!"
"I was charged with DUI and refused a breath test. I was facing a mandatory six month loss of license just for refusing the test. Other people told me it was an automatic loss and there was nothing that could be done about it. I called Attorney Hynes and he recommended contesting the issue at a hearing at the DMV. He did that, and at the hearing I won and didn't lose my license for refusing the breath test.
John H. - Concord, NH
"I was charged with a Felony case of Habitual Offender. I was facing a mandatory minimum of one year in prison if convicted. Attorney Hynes was able to convince the prosecutor the charge should only be a misdemeanor, and now I will not have to go to prison.
Steven H. - Manchester, NH
"I was charged with Driving under the influence of drugs (DUI / DWI). I was facing a license loss of between 9 months and 2 years. Attorney Hynes' knowledge of the law was able to get the charge completely dismissed and I was found Not Guilty. I did not lose my license!
Kimberly C. – Manchester, NH
"I am 19 and was charged with possessing alcohol in a motor vehicle. If convicted I faced a mandatory loss of license. I was also on probation with the DMV and any traffic offense would have violated that and I would have had more of a license loss. Attorney Hynes was able to get the charged reduced to simple possession so I didn't lose my license at all.
Marisa D. - Bedford, NH