Florida has strict laws meant to tamp down on the use of substances when driving. In order to determine if someone has been driving under the influence, tools like field sobriety tests may be utilized. But can these tests be used as evidence against you in court?
Alcohol.org is an addiction center resource that discusses the use of field sobriety tests by officers on the job. There are two different types of field sobriety tests: standardized and non-standardized. Non-standardized tests do not have an agreed-upon set of results and are thus used less frequently, while standardized tests are used more often because their results are quantifiable.
However, field sobriety tests are notoriously difficult to use as evidence. Generally speaking, if used at all, it is used in conjecture with other pieces of evidence. Why is that? Simply put, there can be many reasons for you to fail a field sobriety test that aren’t related to being under the influence at all. For example, certain medical conditions can make it difficult for people to balance, count backwards, or do the coordinated movements required by these tests.
Because of this margin of error, field sobriety tests are used more as support than as direct or stand-alone evidence. Therefore, if you do not pass a field sobriety test, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be convicted.
Regardless, these charges can be difficult to face and may result in catastrophic consequences if you are convicted. It can, therefore, be important to have strong legal support in order to get through this crisis.