Taking a field sobriety test after a traffic stop is an embarrassing event. You may be asked to perform awkward maneuvers on the side of the road while being videotaped by a camera in the police vehicle.
In Florida, you are not required to take a field sobriety test. Learn more about your rights after a DUI stop.
What is the field sobriety test?
The field sobriety test is actually a battery of tests police officers use to help them make DUI arrests. Examples of the tests include:
- Walking heel-to-toe for a certain number of steps and then turning
- Standing on one leg and counting backward
- Tracking a pen or other object an officer moves in front of your eyes
The tests can be difficult for anyone to perform, especially when an intimidating person is giving you instructions. In many cases, officers give the tests incorrectly, making them easier to fail.
Won't I lose my driver's license if I refuse a field sobriety test?
Under Florida's implied consent laws, your driver's license can be suspended if you refuse a breath, blood or urine test, but only after:
- You have been arrested.
- You have been read the implied consent notice.
There is no Florida law that says you have to perform a field sobriety test. Your best defense in a DUI case is to avoid giving the police officer evidence that the state can use against you. While most people want to cooperate with police after a traffic stop, this is one time when you should politely refuse.
Before you take any test, you should seek advice from a lawyer who is experienced in defending DUI charges.