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What Are The Guidelines For DUI Sobriety Tests?

Author : Christine Harrell   Top Author

Submitted : 2010-10-12 10:06:25    Word Count : 457    Popularity:   12

Tags:   Florida DUI lawyer, Florida DUI attorneys

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Drivers in Florida can be pulled over by a police officer for a number of reasons. One of the more common is when a law enforcement official suspects that someone is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. If this is the case, there are several options available to the officer. One of them involves administering a set of tests to see whether the driver is too impaired by alcohol to drive safely. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved a specific set of standardized field sobriety tests that can be given by police officers, law enforcement officials and others that are qualified and properly trained to administer and interpret the tests.

While the tests are chiefly administered by law enforcement officials, other people can take the course and become certified as well. A Florida DUI lawyer may elect to be certified as a Field Sobriety Test Administrator for a number of reasons. One is so that the attorney can see whether the test is fair in its existence. Another is for recognizing accuracy in administration. When the person giving the test does it improperly, the results cannot be considered reliable. When Florida DUI attorneys understand how the tests work and how they are to be interpreted, they can better defend their clients against DUI charges.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
This test requires the observation of a test administrator as the suspect follows an object, such as a penlight, with his eyes. Someone impaired by alcohol will experience an involuntary jerking motion of the eye that is naturally occurring at certain angles. There are specific characteristics that the test administrator looks for and notes. When there are at least four clues present, the suspect is most likely over the legal limit of .08 BAC.

One-Leg Stand
This test requires the subject to raise one foot about six inches from the ground while counting aloud. The suspect is not allowed to hop, sway, put the foot down or use the arms for balance. When two of these indicators occur, it is likely that the subject has a BAC over the legal limit.

Walk and Turn
This test requires a subject to walk a designated number of steps from heel to toe in a straight line. The suspect should take the proper number of steps and cannot use their arms for balance. The person is not allowed to step off of the line or make an improper turn. Missing two of these elements can mean the individual may be over the legal limit.

Once these tests have been given and the number of misses counted and recorded, the person may be taken into custody.

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Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about Florida DUI attorneys, please visit

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