Before we begin, the first thing that should be made clear is that it is not illegal for any adult ages twenty-one and over to drink and drive. It is, however, illegal for an impaired adult to drive. Impairments can be caused by drinking, controlled substances, or misuse of certain medications. It is not uncommon for a person who has had one or two drinks to be involved in a traffic stop where the law enforcement official requires them to participate in a field sobriety test.
Chemical Tests Are Not Field Sobriety Tests
In order for a law enforcement official to confirm that the driver is in fact under the influence, they use breath, blood, and urine tests. These forms of chemical testing are not performed in the field, though, but rather at the police station. In addition to the field sobriety test, an experienced DUI attorney in Tampa knows that these chemical tests can be challenged.
Roadside Sobriety Testing
While law enforcement officials try using field sobriety testing as a way of proving if someone is drunk or not, the methods are not reliable. Therefore, many Tampa attorneys refer to them as roadside exercises. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) endorses the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST).
What does the SFST Entail?
These are the only three tests, or exercises if you will, that make up the SFST and are endorsed by the NHTSA. Even though attorneys find this type of testing inconclusive, drivers can still be arrested if the police officer determines they have failed one or more of the tests. Not only does this put the driver's driving privileges at stake, but it is also damaging to their reputation.
When Field Sobriety Tests Are Challenged:
A reputable Tampa DUI attorney will work aggressively on behalf their clients who face DUI charges and were required to take field sobriety tests. They will work hard to examine all the evidence, which in these field sobriety test cases will include the recordings of the officer's dashboard video cameras, and they will also obtain witness testimony from anyone who was present at the time the testing occurred.