Driver Stops in the Middle of the Road, Puts His Car in Reverse; Fails Field Sobriety Exercises

License Reinstated!

The Charges

Two witnesses stated that a driver stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road ahead of them, put his car in reverse, and they had to take evasive measures to move out of his way. Officers were called, and as they approached the vehicle, the driver emitted an odor of alcohol and had slurred speech. Our client took part in the field sobriety exercises and performed poorly. He then refused the breath test.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are conducted to see if a driver needs to have a breath test done.  Standard field sobriety tests are typically a series of three different exercises:  

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus 
  • Walk-and-turn test
  • One-leg stand

Within each exercise, police officers are looking for several clues that let them know the driver could be driving under the influence. The clues they are looking for include the following:

Horizontal gaze nystagmus test (6 clues, three for each eye)

  • Lack of smooth pursuit
  • Distinct nystagmus and maximum deviation 
  • The angle of onset prior to 45 degrees

Walk-and-turn test (8 clues)

  • Cannot keep balance
  • Starts to soon
  • Stops while walking
  • Misses heel to toe 
  • Steps off line
  • Uses arms to balance
  • Improper turn
  •  Wrong number of steps

One-leg stand (4 clues)

    • Swaying
    • Uses arms to balance
    • Hopping
    • Puts foot down

There may be other testing that the police officer will decide to use in addition to the standard field sobriety tests. These could include the Romberg balance test. In this test, the subject will need to keep their eyes closed and tilt their head back for 30 seconds.  Their feet must remain together with their hands at their sides. This will help test not only their balance but their perception as well. 

Other law enforcement officers prefer the finger to nose test. This is a test that looks at balance and coordination. The heels and toes will remain together while the arms are at the sides. The eyes will remain closed and the head will be tilted back. The tip of the finger will touch the nose with both the right and the left index fingers. 

Musca Law Firm

If you have been pulled over for drunk driving, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side. The best DUI attorney will develop a strong and strategic defense for your case. This attorney will also not be afraid to negotiate with the prosecution.  

Musca Law Firm can be that law firm for you. Our attorneys work side-by-side in order to collaboratively develop the strongest cases and exposes the most weaknesses in the prosecution. We offer a free initial consultation to all our new clients, and we serve the entire state of Florida with offices located in several cities for our clients’ convenience. Please call us today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule your free initial case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. 

RESULT: One witness was subpoenaed, the arresting officer, who notified the Bureau that he could not make it on that date. The hearing officer reset the hearing to accommodate the arresting officer’s calendar. Despite the accommodation, the arresting officer failed to appear at the hearing, and the suspension was lifted. License REINSTATED!

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