How does Law Enforcement give FST’s on a Boat?
FST’s, or “field sobriety tests”, are a series of abnormal exercises, the results of which are allegedly able to accurately gauge both your sobriety and the state of your “normal faculties”. But, in reality, FSTs are a voodoo science that was manufactured and manipulated to fit law enforcement’s purposes and which the Courts have rubber stamped.
On land you are supposed to be given FST’s on a flat, smooth, dry and well lit surface, and, by definition, this is all but impossible on a boat. So when you are accused of BUI, if you are given formal FST’s, then it will be after you have been taken ashore. And while many a cop will administer them on shore there is rarely a need for FST’s on the water as the absolute best boating FST is always going to be the officer’s observations during the imminent “boating safety inspection”.
Why? Simple. Because by choosing the order in which equipment is requested the officer can order the vessel’s operator to move all around the boat. An officer can ask for items in the front of the boat and then order the operator to the back of the boat, and the cop can order the operator to secure certain items and even to read expiration dates. In so doing a cop can and will – easily – both observe and note what he considers to be signs of impairment.
Still, if a marine officer gets you ashore and wishes to administer FSTs then, just as is the case on land, and although the cops will never tell you so, you enjoy an absolute right to refuse to take the “tests”.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:
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