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How Do I Challenge The Results Of A ”Failed” Field Sobriety Test In Florida?


Were you pulled over a suspicion of intoxicated driving in Florida? You may have been asked to perform a field sobriety test. If you “failed” that test, it could be a factor that results in an arrest and a subsequent criminal charge. It is important to emphasize that there are serious questions about the reliability in field sobriety tests. You have the right to challenge a test. In this article, our Orlando DUI defense lawyer provides a comprehensive overview of the key things you should understand about challenging a failed field sobriety test in Florida.

Background: Field Sobriety Tests are Not Mandatory in Florida (Often Unreliable) 

To start, it is important to know that you are actually not obligated to submit a field sobriety test in Florida. The most comprehensive research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that accuracy of these tests is somewhere between 60 percent and 80 percent. It is a significant error rate. There is no “implied consent” law for field sobriety tests. While declining a field sobriety may not stop you from being arrested and charged with a DUI, the fact that you refuse to participate cannot be used as grounds for an administrative suspension of your license.

An Overview of Strategies that You Can Use to Challenge a “Failed” Field Sobriety Test 

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are tools that law enforcement use to determine if a driver is impaired. However, these tests are not perfect—far from it. There are many instances where sober individuals may “fail” a field sobriety. If you are faced with the challenge of disputing a “failed” FST, it is crucial to know the strategies available to contest the results. Here is an overview:

  • Challenge the Officer’s Training and Experience: One of the most effective strategies is questioning the officer’s expertise in administering the FST.
  • Point Out External Factors: You can highlight any external factors that might have affected the results, including uneven or slippery road conditions, adverse weather like rain or wind, poor lighting conditions, and distractions from passing traffic or loud noises.
  • Physical or Medical Reasons: Some individuals may have medical or physical conditions that can affect their performance, such as prior injuries or disabilities, neurological conditions, inner ear problems, and certain medication.
  • Address Mental State: Anxiety, nervousness, or fear can greatly influence one’s performance during a field sobriety test. 

Set Up a Free Consultation With a Top Orlando DUI Defense Attorney Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando DUI defense attorney puts the time, resources, and attention to detail to help our clients get justice. If you have any questions about challenging the results of a “failed” field sobriety test, we are here to help. Call us now or contact our criminal defense team online to set up your confidential consultation. With a law office in Orlando, we defend DUI charges across the area, including in Apopka, Sanford, Winter Garden, Winter Park, and Lake Buena Vista.



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