New Hampshire DWI Laws : The Magic Pen Test

New Hampshire DWI Laws. In New Hampshire, like in most other states, the police conduct three roadside "field sobriety tests" before they arrest a driver for a New Hampshire DWI charge.  The first of these involves the cop waiving a pen in front of a driver's face several times before they arrest her for DWI.  The police call this a "horizontal gaze nystagmus test".  They call their pen a "stimulus" when they describe the ritual in court, because "moving a stimulus" sounds better for them than "waiving a pen". The police are trained to memorize three different ways to describe the way a driver's pupils wiggle when they waive their pen.  In court, after they parrot these three different types of wiggling in each eye, the prosecutor asks them what that all means.  The officers then say that based on their training and experience, all of this eye wiggling is a "sign of impairment".  "Impairment by what?", prosecutors mechanically ask them.  The officers then reply, "impairment by alcohol".  When they are done with this chant and response regarding the wiggling of the driver's eyes and the deeper meaning of the eye wiggling ("guilt"), they move on to the next field sobriety test and the driver's dreadful performance on that one too.

If you allow yourself to be subjected to this crazy ritual by submitting to The Magic Pen Test, you will hear rote testimony like that at your trial.  So the cops dont forget what to say, the prosecutors are allowed to "refresh the cop's memory" at trial, which allows him to read his report where he has canned all of the things he is supposed to say about your eyes wiggling while they followed the magic pen.  If you refuse to follow the magic pen, the Magic Pen stays in the officer's Magic Pen Pocket and you will not hear about your eyes wiggling at trial.

Choose whether to give evidence against yourself carefully.  Do not be fooled by an officer asking to "check to see if you are okay to drive".  He is probably about to arrest you and wants to do the Magic Pen Test to include the alleged results in his police report.  Remember: Lawyer Up and Shut Up!

Call New Hampshire DWI Attorney Mark Stevens today for a Free Consultation about your New Hampshire DWI case! Initial Consultation is Free: 1-603-893-0074. 

10th Circuit Court-District Division-Salem

1 comment:

  1. If you know that you can pass these tests then attempting them is not a problem. You can pass them and officer will let you go. But if you have never attempted any of these tests before, then you become nervous and scared as you do not know what officer is you looking for. In this situation “Lawyer Up and Shut Up!” comes in action :)