If a person is stopped by law enforcement in Florida for suspected driving under the influence (DUI), it is likely that the law enforcement officer will ask the person to consent to a series of Field Sobriety Tests (FST). Field sobriety tests are heavily utilized by law enforcement to determine if a person is operating under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. These tests are agility and coordination based, as it is believed that if a person is impaired, his/her coordination will suffer. According to this logic, an impaired person will have a harder time satisfactorily completing field sobriety tests than a person who is not impaired.

Only four field sobriety tests are classified as standard. These tests are the 1) horizontal gaze nystagmus test, 2) the walk and turn test, and 3) the one leg stand test and the 4) finger to nose test. While law enforcement may request that suspected DUI offenders perform other field sobriety tests, only the aforementioned tests are considered standard and approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It is important to note that when people perform these tests, it is solely up to law enforcement officers to subjectively determine if the people “pass” or “fail” or as they put it, "performed to standard." Usually, if a law enforcement officer asks a person to perform the field sobriety tests, the officer already has some suspicion that the person is under the influence and is looking for further evidence to bolster the case and there DUI investigation. Therefore, most people will benefit from not consenting to these tests, as field sobriety tests are voluntary in the state of Florida. If you have questions about field sobriety tests and how these tests could impact the outcome of your DUI case, contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today to review your legal options and rights.


Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is a leading Florida law firm that is dedicated to representing individuals who have been charged with DUI and related offenses in Miami-Dade, Broward, Volusia, and Palm Beach Counties and surrounding areas. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we are knowledgeable lawyers who are extremely familiar with Florida DUI law and the Florida legal system. We are committed to providing every one of our clients with the defense and counsel they deserve.

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