Officers witnessed the defendant swerving in and out of his designated lane. The police noticed that the driver exhibited signs of intoxication. He later admitted to consuming four vodka cocktails and agreed to participate in roadside sobriety testing. The driver also possessed blood alcohol levels of .08 and .081. The police arrested the suspect for DUI (driving under the influence) and ticketed him for failing to maintain a single lane.
DUI Convictions in Florida
A very common practice in Florida to determine if a DUI charge is needed is a field sobriety test. Police officers will often video these tests to show evidence in court; however, these tests are not always a way to measure if the “offender” is impaired or not. There are many factors that need to be thought of when these tests are performed.
One of these factors is age. A twenty-year-old should perform better at a one leg stand than a seventy-year-old. As we age, we lose our balance; therefore, standing on one leg is challenging for many.
Weight is another factor that can come into play. If an individual weighs 50+ pounds more than the typical person of their age/height, then it can be hard to judge a one leg stand. There may be some discrepancies with swaying that could make the person look like they are drunk when really their weight is forcing them to sway.
If a person has any impairments or injuries, it could be difficult for them to perform a test. Those with back injuries may find it hard to stand on one leg. Those with vision problems may not be able to correctly perform the gaze test. Individuals with a limp may look like they are not able to walk in a straight line when they are walking in their normal fashion.
The environment could also impact the results of the testing. If the surface is wet or slick, it could be hard for the individual to walk in a straight line.
As one can see, field sobriety testing is not always what it looks like. Unless the officer knows the habits of others very well, it can be hard for them to determine what is normal for the person they have pulled over.
Retaining Legal Services in Florida
If you have been pulled over for drunk driving, you need legal representation as soon as charges are filed against you. Call Musca Law Firm for a free consultation. Our skilled attorneys have successfully reduced or completely dropped many of our cases charges. We look forward to hearing from you to see how we can help you!
RESULT: The defense challenged the arresting video of the field sobriety tests obtained by police. The attorney moved forward with trial. The State reduced the charges against the client and the Court found no formal finding of guilt resulting in NO CONVICTION! The defense also obtained a DISMISSAL of the traffic ticket!