Florida drivers know that driving drunk could have serious financial and legal repercussions. If convicted of this type of crime, a driver could face financial penalties, time behind bars and the loss of driving privileges. Even if it is a first-time drunk driving offense, a driver would be prudent to learn how he or she could fight these charges.
One of the ways that you can defend your interests is to learn more about what to expect from a DUI traffic stop. This can help you know if you experienced a violation of your personal rights and prepare you in the event law enforcement ever stops you for suspected drunk driving. There are certain protocols in place for suspected DUI traffic stops, and law enforcement must follow certain rules when pulling people over.
What are field sobriety tests?
After pulling a person over for a suspected DUI, a police officer may ask a driver to participate in certain tests to better determine sobriety and whether or not a chemical test for blood alcohol content is necessary. There are certain standard field sobriety tests approved by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, and law enforcement should always administer them appropriately. These standardized field sobriety tests include the following:
- One-leg stand, which requires the person to balance on one leg, then the other for a certain amount of time
- Walk and turn, a test that requires a person to walk in a straight line, turn around and come back to the starting point without swaying, falling or exhibiting other possible signs of intoxication
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, which is a test that requires a driver to follow an object with his or her eyes without falling, jerking or showing other signs of intoxication
If law enforcement did not follow protocol or violated your personal rights during the administration of field sobriety tests or during a suspected DUI traffic stop, it could be grounds to fight the charges against you.
Fighting for your future
If you have grounds to challenge the legality of the criminal charges against you, it is prudent not to undertake this effort on your own. You may find it beneficial to seek guidance as you work to protect your interests and minimize the effects of a DUI in your life.
A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand if you have a valid reason to challenge the prosecution's case and can help you learn your other defense options.