Florida DUI Field Sobriety Exercises Can Be Suppressed If Asked For Incorrectly
If you performed the optional field sobriety exercises and feel like they will hurt your case it might be possible to eliminate the results. A current trend seems to be building momentum for suppressing the field sobriety exercises if the request could confuse the accused into believing they are not optional. The officer is not required to tell the accused the exercises are optional. If the officer's words could be confusing to make the accused believe that the exercises are required then they could be suppressed. Phrases like i need you to, you need to, I am going to do field sobriety exercises, I am going to do an eye exam, I want to make sure you're okay to drive, like I told you I want to check your eyes, like I told you I want you to do some more exercises, you need to do these exercises, they can only help you, what I'm gonna do is conduct a couple of tests to see if you're okay to drive, there are exercises we are going to do, ignoring requests from defendant to use the bathroom and I want you to take a series of coordination tests have been considered a directive, not a request, and therefore Defendant's consent to perform the field exercises was involuntary and was an acquiescence to police authority. In another case a defendant, who was sixty one years old, complained about his physical limitations and a knee condition. The police officer administered the exercises anyway, telling the defendant to do the best he could. The court ruled that the results were inadmissible. In another case the officer said I am going to ask you to submit to some voluntary roadside exercises. These exercises will determine of you can drive away from here. Are you going to be able to do these for me? An example of a proper warning was given by the court in Miami. The court stated that the officer should use this request. I suspect that you were driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages. You may confirm or dispel my suspicions by performing field sobriety exercises. Will you cooperate?
Other factors to be considered are the threatening presence of several officers, the display of a weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the person of the citizen, or the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer's request might be compelled. Florida law does not require that a driver under investigation for the offense of Driving Under the Influence perform field sobriety exercises. In order for a subject to have voluntarily consented to a field sobriety exercise proof must establish that consent to perform was voluntary and not mere acquiescence to police authority. The State has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the Defendant's consent was freely and voluntarily given. A valid consent must be voluntary, in that it requires a knowing and intelligent waiver of one's rights and must not be a submission to a claim of lawful authority. As all warrantless searches are presumptively unlawful, where the State relies on a defendant's consent, it must establish that the defendant consented voluntarily. If you are arrested fir a DUI in Volusia County go to Daytona Beach DUI lawyer. If you are arrested for a DUI in Seminole County go to Seminole County DUI lawyer.