Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Arrests in West Palm Beach

There are several key components to a DUI arrest. In brief these are:

  • A reasonable cause for being stopped or pulled over. The law is based upon the constitutional right for protection against unreasonable searches. Even the practice of setting up roadblocks near clubs or along highways as a “net” to catch drunk drivers has come under many legal challenges. The law is clear that law enforcement officers must have just cause to pull a driver over. Just cause could be indications of impairment but it could also be vehicle code violations such as a burnt out light. The fundamental point is that the police should have a reason for initiating the action.
  • Actual tests such as of blood, breath and urine for the presence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs. The police will be looking for a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or above in order to charge you with a DUI.
  • “Field Sobriety Tests” which are done to test for any impairment of mental or physical faculties. The most familiar are such as walking a straight line and executing a turn or closing one’s eyes, leaning your head back and touching your nose. An officer may also test for the ability for the eyes to track smoothly and ask for mental exercises to be performed.

The area of field sobriety tests can be highly arbitrary and is one of the most commonly challenged in court. The results can be tainted by improper administration and the subjective aspect of the tests themselves. Often there are physical conditions that can cause an individual to fail the tests, completely unrelated to any form of alcoholic intake.

A West Palm Beach DUI lawyer will be very familiar with the weaknesses in these tests and how to use any improprieties to effectively invalidate the evidence. In many cases we have represented at DiRenzo & Weick we have been able to get charges reduced or dismissed entirely based upon faulty or poor police evidence or procedures.

Are Field Tests Legally Admissible?

The problem with many of these tests is that the evidence is subjective and is based entirely upon the officer’s observation and subsequent report. How the test is administered and exactly what the results were can often be found to have been reported poorly and could be dismissed as valid evidence.

The law is based upon the fundamental concept of being innocent until proven guilty. The quality of the evidence must meet certain standards or risk being rejected. We expose the weaknesses in any field sobriety test evidence and could aggressively cross examine the law enforcement officers who administered for those accused of DUI. If you have been arrested on a DUI then every aspect of your case should be closely examined by an experienced DUI defense lawyer from our firm.

Contact a West Palm Beach DUI Attorney for help in building an aggressive defense against the charges you are facing.