If you are driving and are stopped on suspicion of being drunk, you will probably be asked to take field sobriety tests. These are exercises which are used by law enforcers to find out if a driver is under the influence (DUI) and is not able to drive safely. When you are stopped, these tests are important, as the law enforcer will decide from the results whether to arrest you.
You won’t have too much time to think about your situation as the tests will take place at the site where you were stopped. These tests are usually videotaped so that they can be used as evidence in court.
You do not have to take the sobriety tests
You do not have to take these tests when asked. It may seem easier to agree than refuse. This is what the law enforcer wants you to do. Once you have taken these tests, it is far more difficult to defend yourself. If you are in this situation, you should think before agreeing. That is your legal right.
What will happen in the tests?
The tests try to find out if you can walk properly, think clearly, see clearly and speak clearly.
The first test will ask you to follow an object as the officer waves it in front of your face, like a pen or a finger. In the second test, the officer will ask you to stand on one leg and in the third test you will be asked to walk and then turn. The final test is a speaking test and you may be asked to say some of the letters of the alphabet.
How Does the Law Enforcer Decide if You Are Drunk?
In Florida, each officer has been trained how to give out and assess the sobriety tests. While watching you perform the tests, the officer will decide if you are following his or her instructions and also how you perform in the tests.
If you are unable to focus your eyes on the moving object, you fall over or stumble when asked to stand on one leg and turn around and you can’t be heard clearly when saying the alphabet then the officer will at this point decide that you are DUI.
By taking the sobriety tests you have now given the arresting officer not only the chance to arrest you, but the opportunity along with the State Attorney, the chance to prove that you were DUI.
A decision made if you were DUI can be decided only from the results of your sobriety tests. This is not very accurate, as the tests are not scientific. That means they cannot be measured exactly. Your lawyer might be able to argue in your favor if your weight or age has had an effect on your sobriety test results. You may have an injury that has some affect on your movement or you may be more tired than usual due to a longer than normal day at work. There are also other factors that might work in your favor, which could be related to conditions underfoot, the weather at the time, the amount of light available to see and understand the officer’s instructions.
If you have been arrested for DUI and you think that the sobriety tests were not reliable for any of the reasons given above, you should tell your lawyer, so he or she can argue in your defense.