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Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > DUI Defense > What If I Fail A Florida Sobriety Test?

What If I Fail A Florida Sobriety Test?


Failing a sobriety test can lead to criminal penalties and suspension of your driver’s license. Losing a license can be a significant loss if you rely on your car to work and manage your personal life. How long the suspension will last will depend on the situation. If you have past DUIs that will likely be taken into account, for example.

There are times when it is possible to defend a person against a test that was administered incorrectly. If you or someone in your family failed a Florida sobriety test, it is essential you understand your rights and know what legal options are available. A Clearwater DUI defense lawyer can help.

Horizontal Gaze, Walk and Turn, and other Sobriety Tests

After being pulled over, you could face a few of the basic field sobriety tests that are often issued as part of a Florida DUI stop.

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus tests. Referred to as HGN tests, these are designed to measure involuntary eye movement. When an individual is under the influence, their eye can move from side to side in a way that does not occur for sober individuals.
  • Standing on one leg. Another basic test is asking the person who has been pulled over to balance on one foot while the other foot is elevated off the ground. This position is to be held for approximately 30 seconds. Police officers will note if there is swaying or other indicators of balance loss.
  • Walk and turn tests. After walking in a straight line, the individual will be asked to turn and repeat the straight walk back. Any stumbling or inability to stay on a straight line will be noted.

According to studies, these three sobriety tests correctly identify a person as being under the influence over 80% of the time. The percentage is closer to 90% for horizontal gaze nystagmus tests. While these are high percentages, they are not 100%. For this reason, there may be a path to defend you after failing these tests.

There are individuals who are unable to perform walk and turn or standing on one leg tests satisfactorily even when they are sober. If a person has a health issue that impacts their balance, for example. Even breathalyzer tests can be faulty. If the filters in the breathalyzer are not placed correctly, results will not be valid.

Connect with an Attorney 

When you hire a knowledgeable Clearwater DUI defense lawyer, you may learn of a defense option you were not aware of, such as dismissal of an arrest because of mistakes made by law enforcement officers.

Were you charged following a failed sobriety test? A skilled lawyer can build a strategy to defend you against criminal charges. Penalties can be severe, it is important you take all the steps you can to protect yourself and your freedom after being arrested for a crime. Connect with King Law Group to understand your rights. Our compassionate legal team knows how to defend Florida residents against alcohol-related offenses. Schedule your free consultation today.

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