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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

How Reliable are Field Sobriety Tests in DUI Cases?

Police officers often use Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), also known as Field Sobriety Exercises (FSEs), to arrest drivers suspected of DUI, aiming to determine if a driver was driving after consuming alcohol. These tests typically consist of 3 - 5 exercises, including walking in a straight line, standing on one leg, and touching your finger to your nose while your eyes are closed. During these tests, an officer subjectively decides if the driver “failed” or not.



Are DUI Field Sobriety Tests Accurate in Florida?

Scientifically, DUI field sobriety tests in Florida may appear accurate, but there’s no solid scientific evidence supporting this. Officers first suspect DUI based on practical evidence, such as the driver’s smell and behavior at the window. They administer field sobriety tests mainly to gather more proof for a DUI conviction.


The accuracy of sobriety tests is also questionable due to the typical timing of these tests – often after dark, in potentially cold, windy conditions, and under bright car headlights, all of which can affect an officer’s observations.


Where’s the Evidence?

Several studies, including one by Dr. Spurgeon Cole of Clemson University in 1991, have shown the inaccuracy of field sobriety tests. In his study, police officers watched footage of individuals performing six common sobriety tests and judged if they were too drunk to drive.


Unbeknownst to the officers, the subjects were sober with a 0.00 BAC. The officers deemed 46% of them too drunk to drive, demonstrating the method’s unreliability.


Florida criminal defense attorney Albert Quirantes, Esq. has been fighting and winning DUI cases for over 35 years and knows how to prove the unreliability of these exercises. He has handled many DUI cases where field sobriety test results conflicted with medical tests like blood and BAC tests.


If you’ve been arrested for DUI, participated in field sobriety tests, and the results don’t align with scientific methods, contact “Albert Quirantes, Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers” immediately at 305-644-1800 to defend your case. He will strive to get your DUI charge dismissed due to incorrect or insufficient evidence.

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