Unreliable Field Sobriety Tests

As your Jacksonville DUI lawyer will explain, the arresting officers involved in your field sobriety test are under strict orders to complete every component of the examination “by the book.” This means that the test cannot be skewed or altered from testing standards and officers are not free to utilize any method they wish when making determinations about your sobriety. Jacksonville DUI lawyer

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Florida law enforcement have worked to develop standardized testing mechanisms for the determination of a finding of driving under the influence; however, many offices continue to use unreliable methods on test subjects.



At the time of arrest for a DUI, suspects are required to sign certain paperwork stating they were advised of their rights and understand for what charge they are being arrested. What has become common practice is to use this “handwriting sample” to prove a DUI defendant was intoxicated at the time of the signing by comparing previous signatures on other documents.

However, this method of disproving sobriety is vastly unreliable and research has concluded that handwriting changes are generally not attributable to the effects of alcohol intake alone. Your Jacksonville DUI lawyer will work tirelessly to eliminate any evidence offered against you with regard to your handwriting at the time of arrest as this is an inappropriate and undependable way to measure alcohol influence.


Picking up Coins

Another test that is patently unreliable is commonly referred to as “picking up coins.” In this scenario, officers require a test subject to pick up coins off of a flat surface, such as the hood of a car or the ground. This test does not take into account any balance or musculoskeletal conditions suffered by the test subject, but officers have nevertheless attempted to use the subject’s inability to quickly and perfectly pick up every coin as an indication of drunkenness. Fortunately, your Jacksonville DUI lawyer is prepared for the introduction of this evidence and will raise every cognizable defense to avoid its entrance into the pool of evidence against you.

If you were recently arrested for a DUI following a field sobriety test and would like to discuss your options, call Jacksonville DUI lawyer Patrick Canan today at (904) 824-9402.


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