A person who is charged with a DUI in Massachusetts may have difficulty contesting the matter in court if the chemical tests reveal that the blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Drugs may also affect driving skills, but as NBC Boston notes, proof of the impairment may not be as easy to come by for law enforcement officers attempting to make an arrest. In addition, many authorities are untrained in positively identifying whether a driver is high.
When someone finds themselves accused of driving under the influence and submits to a field sobriety test, the results of the test could have an impact on their future in many ways. In addition to spending time behind bars and facing stiff financial penalties, drunk driving charges can also haunt people years down the road. For example, someone charged with drunk driving in Boston may struggle to find work in Massachusetts, or elsewhere in the country.
Before administering a field sobriety test on the side of a Massachusetts roadway, law enforcement officers have to go through training to learn how to correctly administer them. Two of these are the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test. These measure balance, which can be precarious for someone who has a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
A Massachusetts law enforcement officer who has reason to believe a driver is impaired may make a traffic stop to evaluate the situation further. If he or she feels there is enough evidence at that point, there may be a field sobriety test, which can assist officers in identifying people who are driving under the influence. According to AAA, over 90 percent of roadside sobriety tests are successful when administered by a properly trained officer. This leaves significant room for error.