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Think field sobriety tests will prove your innocence? Think again

In order to make an arrest for DUI, a police officer must first establish probable cause to believe that the person drove while impaired. In order to do that, officers may ask an individual to submit to what most people understand to be field sobriety tests. Many people here in Florida and across the country participate in these tests believing that it will clear them of any suspicion for DUI. What they do not realize is that the outcome of these tests is highly subjective and people fail them all the time -- even those who have not had anything to drink.

The perception that participating in field sobriety tests will prove their innocence sometimes comes from the officers administering them. If you refuse to submit to the tests, an officer may attempt to make you think that the law requires your participation or that not taking them only makes him or her believe you are drunk. Neither of these statements, nor any other similar statements, is true.

What you, and many other drivers here in Florida, may not know is that you are under no legal obligations to participate in field sobriety tests. In fact, many criminal defense attorneys recommend that people not partake in these tests. Even if it turns out that you had no alcohol in your system -- or that you were not legally impaired -- you may still have an arrest on your record if you "fail" these tests.

If this information comes too late for you, do not give up hope. You may still have options regarding the outcome of your case. Challenging the reliability of field sobriety tests is just one possible avenue available in defending yourself against DUI charges.

Source: alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org, "Never Take a Field Sobriety Test Say DUI Lawyers", Accessed on May 11, 2018

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