If suspected of intoxication and stopped by law enforcement, you may be asked by the officer to step out of your car and perform a field sobriety test. These are physical tasks to allegedly determine whether you are driving drunk and after which you can be arrested and charged with DUI.
If you performed a field sobriety test and were subsequently arrested, you have a right to a legal defense and our Orlando DUI lawyer can fight on your behalf to protect your freedom! When your future is being threatened by DUI charges, you want a legal team behind you who has the experience fighting criminal defense charges and the successful track record to go with it.
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
Field Sobriety Exercises
If you are arrested for DUI and fail or refuse any field sobriety exercise, such evidence may be used against you in court. The field sobriety exercise is actually made up of several small tests, which are standard in most states. These exercises are difficult to perform for the first time and usually occur with numerous cars passing by.
In addition, there are usually numerous officers present observing the exercises and noting every mistake made. Below is a list of the more widely used exercises for DUI/BUI enforcement:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN): Nystagmus refers to an involuntary jerking motion in the eyes. An officer has the individual follow a pen or other similar object with their eyes to see if a driver can follow it smoothly, or if his or her eyes jerk due to being intoxicated.
- Walk and Turn Exercise: This exercise begins by requiring you to balance your right leg in front of your left leg on a designated line while the officer explains how to perform the exercise. After the officer finishes the instructions and tells you to begin, you are expected to take nine heel to toe steps, turn using a series of small steps, then take nine heel to toe steps.
- One Leg Stand Exercise: This exercise begins with you placing your arms to your side with your feet together while the officer demonstrates the exercise. Once the officer instructs you to begin, you are expected to lift your leg for thirty seconds, six inches off the ground with your arms to your side, counting out loud while keeping your foot parallel to the ground.
Tests such as these are only as valuable as the administrator and his skill in conducting the tests. While a law enforcement officer's opinion may be relatively unbiased, it is just that, an opinion open to challenge. If you have been charged with a DUI due to a field sobriety test, it is vital you consult an Orlando criminal defense attorney who will examine the results of your test for discrepancies or error.
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Challenge Your Test Results
There are generally three field sobriety tests law enforcement can ask you to perform when stopped on suspicion of DUI. These are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk and turn, and the one leg stand. Even if you are accused of "failing" the test, you still have a right to challenge the results.
You can trust our firm to be aggressive in defending you no matter what the details of your case. Get your free consultation by calling (407) 753-1312!
There are several non-standard tests police officers may direct a driver to perform and while they should not be refused, they certainly should be challenged by your attorney.
These non-standard tests can include:
- Finger to Nose Exercise: This exercise requires you to place your hands to your side, put your feet together while closing your eyes and tilt your head back. When the officer indicates, you are to raise your arm and touch the tip of your nose and place your arms back to your side while waiting for additional instructions. Generally the correct sequence of instructions is left, right, left, right, right, left.
- Alphabet Exercise: This exercise requires you to place your hands to your side, feet together, with your eyes closed, while reciting the alphabet in any sequence requested by the officer.
- Additional exercises have included the Rhomberg Balance, Hand Pat Exercise, Count Down, Finger Count and Coin Pickup.
Our Orlando DUI attorneys understand how to beat drunk driving charges based on field sobriety tests. We can bring up the very subjective nature of the tests to argue you were not intoxicated beyond the legal limit when you were stopped.
Most officers conducting these types of tests have already decided they will place you under arrest, and are merely looking for more evidence to use against you. It is under these circumstances that attorneys consider field sobriety tests inaccurate and employ their full resources to challenge them.
When you have been arrested and charged for DUI, and you have performed any of these field sobriety tests, it is vital to contact an Orlando DUI attorney who will successfully fight to preserve your rights and driving privileges.
Contact our dedicated and experienced team of attorneys today by calling (407) 753-1312 to learn more about how we can help!
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