John O’Connor, a CBS anchorman, was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Police found a beer in his car. According to the arresting officer, John O’Connor failed Field Sobriety Tests and appeared to be impaired by alcohol.
In Jacksonville, Florida, Field Sobriety Tests (also known as Field Sobriety Exercises) are given to drivers that are under suspicion for DUI. They are a series of exercises that an officer makes a driver perform in order to determine if the person is impaired. These exercises include:
(1) Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus- an officer uses a pen and moves it side to side watching the driver’s eyes,
(2) Walk and Turn- the driver must walk a strait line, turn, and walk back,
(3) One-leg stand- the driver must close his or her eyes and put one leg up while counting to 30, and
(4) Rhomberg Alphabet- the driver must recite the alphabet very slowly.
At first glance, these exercises may seem easy, but they are not. For instance, I find the ABC test the most difficult. When performing the test, you cannot sing the alphabet. You must say it very slowly. By the time I make it less than halfway through, I forget the next letter. Most people are accustomed to signing the alphabet. This is how we were taught. This ABC test is meant to help an officer determine if a person’s normal faculties are impaired, but how does it measure that? People do not normally recite the alphabet slowly, so how does this test measure their “normal faculties.” I never tried it until I became a Jacksonville Florida DUI Lawyer.
These Field Sobriety Tests do not measure a person’s normal faculties. Normal faculties include your ability to see, hear, walk, and talk. For example, the “Walk and Turn” test does not judge this. Just because a driver cannot perform this test perfectly, does not mean that he or she should be charged with DUI. In order to pass this test, you must walk, heel to toe, on a strait line. Then, you must take very small steps to turn pivoting on one leg, and walk back, heel to toe. Who does this? This is not a normal faculty. If you really want to know if a person cannot function normally, you should have the person walk around like they normally would.
If you were arrested for DUI, the police officer likely asked you to take Field Sobriety Exercises. If you did take them, the police officer based your arrest on the results of these tests, at least partially. If you refused to take them, the prosecutor is going to try to use this against you. It is important to hire a Jacksonville Florida DUI Attorney to review the evidence that the State of Florida has against you. A Jacksonville Florida DUI Attorney has experience with the crime of DUI and will fight to keep you out of jail, to protect you from a damaging criminal record, and to keep you driver’s license. At the Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC we help clients who are charged with DUI.