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Field Sobriety Tests in Fort Lauderdale

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All over the nation, law enforcement officers use the same tests to help confirm their suspicions of drunk driving and establish probable cause in order to make an arrest. Results of the test are relied upon by prosecutors who wish to establish that you were driving while intoxicated. What you may not know is that these tests are optional.

In addition, while these tests are commonly applied, research has shown that these tests are not always accurate in determining whether or not a person is actually intoxicated. If you’ve recently undergone a field sobriety test leading to your arrest on charges of drunk driving, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a skilled Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer from Rudenberg & Glasser, P.A. We have helped thousands of clients fight for the best possible outcome in their cases and have established a track record of success in DUI defense.

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Types of Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are used to implement DUI laws. These usually precede breath and blood tests and are used when an officer suspects that a driver is drunk or impaired and wants to establish probable cause for an arrest.

There are two categories of field sobriety tests:

  • Standardized
  • Non-standardized

The standardized field sobriety tests consist of three specific, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approved assessments of a person’s abilities. Non-standardized tests are other ways to assess a person’s level of intoxication by asking them to count a number of fingers, recite the alphabet, count backwards, and so on.

The field sobriety tests sanctioned by the NHTSA include:

  • Walk-and-Turn Test: The suspect walks 9 steps, heel-to-toe, in a straight line, turns on one foot and returns.
  • One Leg Stand Test: This requires the suspect to count for 30 seconds while standing with one foot six inches from the ground. Swaying, hopping, putting a foot down, or loss of balance could indicate intoxication.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: This requires the suspect to smoothly follow an object horizontally across their line of vision. Officers look for excessive jerking of the eye at different points of the test.

As a whole, these three tests may provide a basis for assuming that the suspect is intoxicated. However, in some cases, these tests do not reflect the truth. A person may have a disability that prevents them from performing these tests or may be at a disadvantage for other reasons. If you are pulled over and fail, it may be used against you; however, remember you have the right to politely decline any field sobriety test requested by a police officer.

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At Rudenberg and Glasser, our Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyers are dedicated to protecting the client and securing their future. Regardless of the results of your field sobriety tests, our team can help you defend your rights. Our skilled Florida defense attorneys are available around-the-clock for counsel and tailor-fit a defense to each client's unique case. Trust your DUI case to our team. Begin a free consultation with our firm by contacting us today!

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