If you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, a law enforcement officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests. Here’s what you need to know about roadside sobriety tests and whether or not you have the right in Florida to decline them.
Roadside Sobriety Tests Defined
Roadside sobriety tests are meant to help officers determine if a person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. During the tests, officers will look for signs of intoxication, such as the inability to maintain balance, slurred speech, or difficulty remembering how to do the test. The three standard roadside sobriety tests in Florida include:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
A horizontal gaze nystagmus test is designed to detect the presence of temporary “shakiness” of the eyes that can be caused by alcohol or drugs. During the test, you’ll be asked to follow an object or light with your eyes without turning your head.
Walk & Turn
A walk and turn test involves walking in a straight line for a number of steps, heel-to-toe. The police officer then asks you to pivot and walk back in a straight line for the same number of steps. Usually, the officer will use the painted yellow line on the right side of the road for this test.
One Leg Stand
During the one leg stand test, you will be asked to hold your leg up with your foot just a short distance from the ground and maintain balance on the other leg for a number of seconds. The officer may ask you to repeat the test with the other leg.
Do You Have the Right to Decline Roadside Sobriety Tests in Florida?
In Florida, it’s perfectly legal for you to decline a roadside sobriety test.
Roadside sobriety tests are highly inaccurate and it’s typically in your best interest to decline to submit to one if you are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving. The results themselves are subjective, and many people have failed these tests while stone-cold sober.
Reach Out to an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you’ve been taken into custody after a DUI arrest, it’s important that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, especially if you failed a field sobriety test. At the Mayersohn Law Group, our office can help you challenge the validity and accuracy of the tests. Call now for a consultation at 954-765-1900.