You should understand everything about the road laws in Florida before you drive. Road regulations are tightly maintained, and violators of the law face strict penalties. As such, you want to understand everything about DUI laws, too. This especially extends to field sobriety tests, which often cause confusion among people who take them.
How do officers use field sobriety tests?
FieldSobrietyTests.org looks at how sobriety tests play into DUI charges. Field sobriety tests act as a tool officers use to determine someone’s level of sobriety. It is not a perfect scientific tool of measurement, though. Because of this, field sobriety test results do not see use as evidence in DUI court cases. Rather, officers use these test results to see if they should do further testing. In some cases, they can even use a failed field sobriety test as probable cause to arrest you.
What are these tests?
So, what is a field sobriety test, then? It is a physical or mental test designed to check how sober you appear to be. There are three standardized field sobriety tests. An officer may ask you to stand on one foot to test your balance. They may also move their finger horizontally in front of your face and ask you to follow it with your eyes. The third test is called the walk-and-turn. In this test, you must walk in a straight line, heel to toe. Then, you must turn and walk back along the same path. These tests are much easier for a sober person than for a person who is under the influence.
However, there are other reasons – unrelated to drug or alcohol consumption – which could cause you to fail these tests. For instance, someone with an inner ear infection might have balance problems and therefore struggle to pass the walk-and-turn. So could someone with a physical disability, or even someone who is overweight. Because of the room for error in judgment and personal bias, field sobriety test results are not a pillar of evidence.
If you’ve been arrested under suspicion of a DUI, it’s important to understand that field sobriety tests are not an exact science and cannot prove your guilt or innocence. It’s worth reaching out to an experienced DUI attorney to help you protect your rights and your future.