Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) (Part A)

If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence, also known as a Florida DUI, then a police officer may ask you to perform one or several field sobriety tests. In these tests, an officer will attempt to evaluate your ability to drive a motor vehicle. While conducting this evaluation, the officer will gauge things such as your: 

  • Motor skills
  • Ability to respond
  • Balance and coordination 

To do so, an officer may have you recite the alphabet, count backwards, or stand stationary on one leg. But field sobriety tests are not an accurate way to gauge if you are sober. If you have been arrested for a Florida DUI after failing field sobriety tests, then you may be able to fight your DUI charge. To know more, you can get the professional advice of a Miami DUI defense attorney. 

Some Common Field Sobriety Tests 

Some of the common field sobriety tests that an officer will conduct include: 

The Rhomberg Stationary Balance Test 

In this field sobriety test you will stand with your feet together, and lean your head backwards to look up at the sky while holding your arms out at your side. If you stagger or lose your balance, then you may be arrested for a Florida DUI. 

The Finger-To-Nose Test 

In this test you will stand still, close your eyes, and bring your finger to touch your nose. Again, the officer will look to see if you lose your balance. 

The Hand-Pat Test 

In this test, you will be asked to extend your hands forward, with your palms turned upward. You must then place your other hand on top of the first, with your top palm turned downwards. You will then be asked to “pat” the lower hand with the upper hand by rotating it. This can be confusing even to someone who was not been drinking alcohol.  

Other field sobriety tests 

Other tests you may be asked to perform include: 

  • To walk and turn
  • To count the number of fingers that an officer shows you
  • While standing still, to follow an object (usually a pen) with your eyes 

All of these field sobriety tests can be intimidating or confusing, even to someone who is not guilty of a Florida DUI. These tests are also highly subjective which means you can and should question their validity in court. 

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