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Unlike a breath, blood, or urine test, there is no law in Florida requiring you to perform field sobriety tests at the side of the road if asked to do so by law enforcement.  An officer can ask you to perform the exercises if they believe you are driving under the influence of alcohol, but be certain that these exercises are not for your benefit, no matter what they say.

Field Sobriety Tests Given in Orange County, Florida

A police officer tries to give a field sobriety test.The agility maneuvers that you will be asked to perform are designed to gather evidence that you are impaired.  They are not designed to help you show that you are sober.  For instance, studies have shown that the average unimpaired person can hold their foot in the air as required to perform the one-leg stand for approximately 26 seconds without putting their foot down.  However, the instructions for the One Leg Stand Exercise require you to keep your foot in the air for 30 seconds.  When you put your foot down around the 26-second mark, the officer will count that as a cue, clue, or indicator that you are impaired.

Refusing to Perform Their Monkey Tricks

If an officer asks you to perform the roadside agility maneuvers and you do not agree to do so, they must inform you of negative consequences.  Case law in Florida allows your refusal to do the roadside SPTs (Stupid People Tricks) against you in court if you are advised that there are negative consequences to refusing the officer’s request. Typically law enforcement will say something to the effect that your refusal to perform the exercises will go into their decision whether or not to arrest you and that your refusal can be used against you in court.

If you are not advised of negative consequences typically judges will prohibit the use of your refusal to perform the roadside exercises from being mentioned to a jury.

Orange and Seminole County DUI Defense Attorneys

An experienced Orange County or Seminole County DUI Defense attorney knows how to argue to keep your refusal to perform the field sobriety exercises out of evidence against you. Further, even if unsuccessful in keeping the refusal from the jury, there are many ways to neutralize the evidentiary value of a refusal to perform field exercises. Make sure you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney who knows how to keep your refusal from hurting you.  Call the Board Certified DUI Defense Experts at Katz & Phillips, P.A. today and discuss the particular facts of your case and the defense we can custom-tailor to help you.