Anyone who is pulled over by a police officer due to the suspicion of driving under the influence will most likely be told to perform a variety of field sobriety tests in order to verify their intellectual state of mind. It is important to note that it is not necessary for a person to comply with taking these tests and is often in a person’s best interest to politely turn down the officer.
The benefit of refraining from taking these tests is that a person can reduce the chances of themselves being falsely accused and arrested. Field sobriety tests are not exactly accurate, and they are difficult tasks to perform even for a person who is completely sober. Many times, performing these tests can make a person who is not intoxicated at all look like they are under the influence of alcohol and drugs simply because of how difficult they are to perform.
There are five tests an officer may request an accused driver to perform:
- Walk and turn
- One-leg stand
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test
- Alphabet test
- Finger to nose
The tests may require a person to perform different tasks, but they all hold the same purpose; to test the intellectual state of mind of the driver. If a person does not have a ‘normal’ response to the tests according to the officer, the officer will most likely first request a blood and breath test to verify their suspicions. If a person has a BAC of 0.08% or above, then the officer can suspend a person’s license on the spot and have DUI charges laid against them.
It is always best to call a DUI attorney in Live Oak, Florida as soon as the officer allows a person to make their first call. A lawyer may be able to provide evidence claiming that the devices the officer used to measure the BAC were not in proper functioning order or they may be able to create affirmative defenses which attest that a person was DUI but they had a valid reason to do so. This could be due to a serious life-threatening emergency they were being confronted with or it could be because they were unaware that they were served alcohol and were therefore intoxicated against their knowledge.
If an officer is trying to lay a DUI charge based on the results of the field sobriety tests alone then an attorney will generally be able to challenge the reliability of the results of the test with relative ease. A reliable legal representative can make all the difference in helping a person reduce their penalties or even having their charge erased. DUI charges are not light and there are serious penalties that come once a person pleads guilty and accepts the charges. Not only will they have to pay fines and do community service, but they may also have to do jail time and they will almost definitely have their driving privileges taken away for a long period of time.
In order to avoid having to go through so much hassle, a person should get in touch with a DUI lawyer.