Field Sobriety Test

Field Sobriety Testing To Assess Drunk Driving

If you are stopped by the police while driving and they suspect that you have been drinking alcohol it is likely that they will request you to perform a series of Field Sobriety tests to determine if you are impaired or intoxicated. Field Sobriety tests were developed by police agencies to help law enforcement in making roadside determinations as to whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Based upon your performance of these tests or evaluations, the police officer subjectively determines how you react to and perform the tasks he requests you to do.

A driver’s alleged performance on Field Sobriety tests may provide the legal justification or probable cause the police officer needs to arrest a person for driving while under the influence of alcohol (drunk driving) and they also become evidence used to later convince a jury that you are guilty at a trial.

Please see the links below for the most common field sobriety tests:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
One Leg Stand Test
Walk and Turn Test

Other Non-Standardized Test

Law enforcement has creative ways to subjectively determine whether a person is impaired by alcohol and unfortunately will conduct some other non-standardized test:

  1. The Ram Berg alphabet test. There are many different variations to this test, but most include requiring the suspect to say the complete alphabet without singing it. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative to attack the validity of these tests. Many people have not stated the alphabet since childhood. Many citizens do not speak English as their primary language and their inability to say the alphabet may be a product of sheer nervousness other than intoxication by alcohol.

  2. The Finger To Nose test. Essentially in this test the police officer requires the person to touch the tip of his nose with the tip of his finger while tilting the suspect’s head back as far as possible keeping his eyes closed. The police officer then calls out each hand, left, right, left, right, and then right left in an attempt to confuse the suspect. The finger to nose test does not have standardized scoring in order to establish whether a person passed or failed the test and is based upon the police officer determining whether the suspect passed or failed.

In conclusion, remember that when you’re pulled over and you’re suspected of driving while impaired (drunk driving) by alcohol or under drugs, the police officer is likely to ask you to conduct a series of field sobriety tests. Some of those field sobriety tests are recognized by the National Highway and Safety Transportation Administration and other tests are not recognized by that same organization. The police officer has to be properly trained and use that training to properly conduct the test. Should the police officer not conduct the test properly, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you. The DUI attorney challenges the police officer’s ability to conduct the test by attacking a police officer’s ability to conduct the test, and the non-standardized way the officer may have administered the test.

If you are charged with a DUI or questioned during the field sobriety test, please contact our law firm where we have extensive experience representing residents and tourists throughout Orlando and the rest of Central Florida who have been charged with violating Florida’s DUI laws. Our Orlando DUI lawyers have the experience necessary for the vigorous representation of your case. Please call us today (407) 228 3838.

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