Queens County Bar Association
Martindale Hubbell - Distinguished 2023

Field Sobriety Tests

Interviewer: That makes sense. What about the roadside sobriety tests that people are asked to do? If you fail those tests is that another example where people say, “I didn’t do well on those roadside tests. I think I’m guilty. They got me.”

Are The Field Sobriety Tests An Accurate Indicator Of Intoxication?

Martin Kane: There again these tests come up, both the roadside tests and the tests that are done inside the precinct. Surprisingly a lot of those tests that are done have no application or they have no relevance to whether somebody is actually intoxicated.

You really have to go over the test carefully. When an officer is cross-examined, very often we can show that the test that he gave and the results that he got had no relevance to whether or not the person was intoxicated.

What Might Your Attorney Advise After A DWI Charge?

Interviewer: What do you say to someone who calls you and they are coming in with the attitude of, “I think the police really got me. Is it worth it really to even fight a DWI?” What do you tell them?

An Attorney Can Almost Always Mitigate The Effects Of A DWI Charge

Martin Kane: The first thing I tell somebody is I’m not going to take your case all the way to trial if I don’t feel you have a good chance of winning the case. There are a lot of cases where the best you can do for somebody is try to minimize the effect of the arrest and to get the best type of disposition that you possibly can.

Otherwise all you’re doing is having people spend money and time unnecessarily and, frankly, ending up with a worse disposition after trial than they could have gotten before trial. You have to look at a case carefully. I go over it with the client because the client is the one who makes the final decision.

All you can do is advise him as to what you think his best choices are. In DWI cases there are many cases where I will tell the client, “This case is not triable. We have to get you the best possible disposition.” That’s a whole other field, trying to get the best disposition that you can in a case.

For more information, contact The Law Office of Martin D. Kane by calling (718) 793-5700.

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