When Police Officers suspect someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they frequently ask that motorist to submit to field sobriety tests at the scene. As part of the test, they might ask the driver to perform specific physical or mental exercises to check their coordination, balance, motor skills, or memory. The Officers could then use the results of those tests as evidence to prove their case that a motorist was drunk or on drugs. However, these tests are often subjective and unreliable.
If you have questions about field sobriety tests in Wellington DUI cases, you should discuss your concerns with a seasoned drunk driving attorney. Our team can help protect your rights.
Problems with Field Sobriety Tests
The most common field sobriety tests require motorists to walk and turn, stand on one leg, and track the movement of an object or finger with their eyes. Unfortunately, these field sobriety tests yield a large number of false positives. Many entirely sober people fail these tests. Police Officers are not medically trained, meaning they do not always know how to interpret the results.
Motorists also fail because they are nervous, tired, or distraught. Trying to balance on the side of a highway could make anyone nervous. Even bad weather conditions could affect the results. A driver’s weight or another medical condition could impact their balance or coordination. A diligent Legal Representative can challenge the results. They can investigate a field sobriety test to see if there were unfair conditions or if Police in Wellington scored the DUI case unfairly.
Are Field Sobriety Tests Mandatory?
In Florida, if a Police Officer suspects a driver is impaired, they can ask the car to pull over. Law Enforcement Officers often note if a driver is swerving or breaking too fast. They might also become suspicious if a vehicle narrowly avoids collisions or drives erratically. Cars driving in the wrong direction or veering into other lanes might also give an Officer a reasonable suspicion that a motorist is impaired.
Once they make a traffic stop, an Officer can observe the motorist to determine if they think they are drunk or on drugs. They might look for physical indications, such as bloodshot or watery eyes. They can also listen to the driver’s speech to see if it slurs and if they respond promptly and correctly to simple questions. Police Officers also look for open alcohol containers or the smell of alcohol in the car.
If a Police Officer suspects a motorist is drunk, they can ask them to perform a field sobriety test. The motorist is not legally obligated to comply with the request. They can say no. However, if the driver refuses to take the test, the Officer might arrest them. Once arrested, the Police can offer a breathalyzer test. If the motorist refuses to take the breathalyzer test, they will lose their license for one year. A seasoned DUI Lawyer in Wellington can explain the full consequences of refusing a field sobriety check.
Call an Attorney to Discuss Field Sobriety Tests in Wellington DUI Cases
Police Officers often use the results of field sobriety checks as evidence that a motorist is drunk. If an Officer asks you to perform a sobriety check, you are not legally required to comply. Even if you take a test and an Officer determines you failed, that is not the end of your case. A hardworking Legal Representative can challenge the testing condition and results.
If you have questions about field sobriety tests in Wellington DUI cases, you should speak with a dedicated Lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and obligations. Call Leifert & Leifert today.