Florida police officers often use what is known as a field sobriety test to evaluate if an individual is intoxicated. These tests are typically performed alongside the roadway during a routine DUI traffic stop. In the event that you’re pulled over because of suspicion of a DUI, you may feel like you’re obligated to perform a field sobriety test.
You don’t have to
These tests are used to help police officers verify their suspicion that a person is under the influence. They may ask you to perform one of a number of different field sobriety tests. The most common are the one-leg stand, the counting backward test, the horizontal gaze test and the walk-and-turn test. If you fail one of these tests, it’s likely that you’ll be charged with a DUI by the officer.
While it may sound like a forceful request, an officer cannot legally order you to take any of these field sobriety tests. In fact, taking these tests can actually be used against you in a court of law if you’re officially charged with driving under the influence. You may want to politely refuse to take the test.
What if you agreed to take the test?
If you were pulled over for a DUI and didn’t realize that you could refuse the test, you may have failed one or more of these field sobriety tests. In the event that this happened, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to fight your case based on the conclusion that the test was non-objective. This means that the officer was biased in the way that they administered the test, resulting in an inconclusive result.
Being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence can be a life-changing event. While a police officer will likely try to get you to perform a field sobriety test, it’s your legal right to deny taking a field sobriety test when asked.