Monday, March 19, 2012

Tests, Tests, and Still More Tests: Do I Have To Take Police Tests?

The police (including troopers, deputies) are worse than teachers when it comes to giving tests. In college you usually get time to study. You may also receive an outline, a list of books, a course syllabus, and/or a list of potential testable subject matter. Not so with law enforcement.

Police/law enforcement tests given at roadside or back at the station are some of the most difficult tests you will ever take because:

You don't know what's on the test.
You can't prepare for the test.
You can't practice the test.
You can't take the test over.
You don't really know if you passed or why you failed the test?

In fact many tests may be graded upon the officer's subjectivity (how they perceive your responses to their commands, directions, and instructions). What if they are poor instructors? What if they are unclear in their communication?

On top of all of that some police tests are just made up. They have no standardization. For the record there are only three SFSTs (Standardized Field Sobriety Tests): the HGN (horizontal gaze nystagmus), the walk and turn, and the one leg stand.

Your Performance

You probably will not be at your best physically or mentally when taking them.
It may be late at night, you may tired, you may be scared, you may be anxious, and you may be under the influence of something.

So what tests must you take:

Alco-sensor Test (out in field breath test): Don't have to take but if you don't it is a traffic violation.

Field Sobriety Tests: Don't have to take them at all.

Breath Test: Have to take it (implied consent law) but if you decline license ramifications (revocation for one year)

Blood Test: Have to take it (will be forced if a personal injury accident) but you can decline (if not an accident with injuries to others) and face license revocation.

Law Offices of Lawrence Newman
Larry Newman, Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850