The most common cause of being charged with DUI is “failing” a field sobriety test. If you are pulled over and asked to submit to testing and do not perform as the officer believes you should, you can be charged with DUI. Other than the breath test, common forms of tests to determine sobriety include the horizontal gaze, the walk and turn, stand on one leg, and touch your nose. The problem with these tests are that they are subjective, meaning the determination as to whether you pass or fail is within the decision making authority of the officer. Because everyone perceives actions and words differently, you are at the mercy of the independent thought of the authorities when engaging in one of these types of tests.
In Florida, you can be charged with DUI if you fail a field sobriety test and your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or more. Three factors that can impact test results include:
- Age: the very young and inexperienced driver may be too eager to show the officer that he or she is not intoxicated and in the excitement might give up too much information. On the other hand, an older driver may simply lack the physical capabilities to satisfactorily perform a field sobriety test.
- Health: if you are in poor health you are less likely to successfully perform the tasks given to you during a field sobriety test.
- Road conditions: poorly lit areas can make it more difficult to see what you are doing, and can cause you to slip or trip when you would otherwise walk, turn, or stand with ease.
Any one or more of these circumstances could be present in your case. To defend a DUI charge by challenging the officer’s determination of intoxication from a field test you will need to provide an accurate account of the facts leading to your arrest to a qualified DUI defense attorney. We have experience defending people for DUI, and can help you too.
If you have been arrested for DUI, call us today. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.