If you have been stopped by law enforcement you may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests, or FSTs. FSTs are given by law enforcement officers at the location where you have been stopped. If a police officer feels that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he may ask you to take one or more FSTs.

These tests can be performed roadside often conducted prior to performing a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. In Florida the legal drinking limit is 0.08% BAC. FSTs are used as a way for officers to decide whether to pursue further action against a driver suspected of DUI.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

You’ve likely heard of some of the most common types of FSTs given by police officers. These are actually very simple tests but they have been proven to be more difficult for impaired people to perform. Some of the most common FSTs include:

  • Hold One Foot Out While Standing
  • Walk a Straight Line
  • Touch a finger to the nose
  • Recite the Alphabet

Tests such as these are subjective, meaning that the results of your performance are based on the judgment of the officer. For this reason, FSTs aren’t considered scientific evidence of DUI. They are used mainly as a gateway to further testing. If the officer feels you have not performed well on the field tests for sobriety he will advance to the next step – testing for DUI. Sometimes, a driver will be tested for DUI at scene using a breathalyzer while other times the testing will be done by blood or urine at the police station.

Can I Refuse Testing?

Florida has an implied consent law in place. This means that if a police officer asks you to take a DUI test you must comply. If you fail to comply you will face additional penalties. Also, the refusal may be used in court against you on your DUI case. Implied consent officially applies only to DUI tests such as breath, urine, or blood. However, failure to comply with FSTs may be construed as being uncooperative or as interference. If you have been arrested for DUI it is best to seek help from a qualified DUI attorney as soon as possible for the best outcome.