The Defendant pulled into a Law Enforcement Against Drunk Driving Sobriety Checkpoint. The Officer noticed that the Driver smelled strongly of alcohol, slurred her speech, and had difficulty answering simple questions. The Driver failed Field Sobriety Testing and submitted to a Breathalyzer Test. The Defendant blew .127% in the breath test, which is well over the legal limit. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles suspended the Defendant’s license.
Field Sobriety Testing
Field sobriety testing is used when law enforcement suspects a driver has been drinking. If the suspect driver performs poorly on their FST (field sobriety testing), they will then be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test.
FST is a series of three different exercises administered by a law enforcement officer. These include the one-leg stand, the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), and the walk-and-turn. A law enforcement officer may also add in another test based on their discretion, such as asking the driver to state the alphabet backward.
During the tests, the administering officer will look for the following:
One-leg stand for 30 seconds:
- Swaying while balancing on one foot
- Trying to use the arms to help them maintain balance
- Putting the foot down
- Hopping around to maintain balance
If a suspect has two or more of the bullet points listed above, there is a 65% chance that there is a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .10% or higher.
Horizontal gaze nystagmus:
- The eyes are not able to follow the object
- If jerking is distinct when the eye is at maximum deviation
- If the angle of jerking onset is within 45 degrees
If there are four or more of the bullet points between both eyes, there is a 77% chance that the suspect has a BAC level of .10% or higher.
- If the suspect begins before the instructions have stopped
- If the suspect is able to maintain balance while listening to the instructions
- If the suspect has to stop to maintain his or her balance during the test
- If the suspect uses their arms to balance themselves
- While turning, if the suspect loses their balance
- If the suspect does not take the correct number of steps
- If the suspect does not touch heel to toe
There is a 68% likelihood that if two or more of the bullet points listed above are present, there is a BAC level of .10% or higher.
Musca Law Firm
If you or a loved one face a DUI charge, you will need legal representation to help you in court. With over 150-years of combined legal experience among our team of criminal defense attorneys, Musca Law Firm is able to negotiate with the prosecution in order to have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. We have defended many clients against a wide range of criminal charges, and are capable of building a strong and strategic legal defense on your behalf based on the specifics of your case.
We have multiple offices across the state of Florida for your geographical convenience. We offer a free, no-obligation initial case consultation and answer our phones 24/7 to be available when you need us. Don’t hesitate to call our office today at (888) 484-5057 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
RESULT: The Musca Law Attorney requested a Formal Administrative Review Hearing on the suspension of the Client’s driver’s license. The Attorney reviewed the video of the Field Sobriety Test from the Officer’s cruiser. The Defense proved discrepancies in the Officer’s testimony. The Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety REINSTATED the Client’s license!