A Gainesville Police Department officer observed a driver traveling the wrong direction down a one-way street and pulled the driver over. The officer noted the driver’s red eyes and the smell of alcohol and requested that he perform field sobriety exercises. The driver indicated he was unsure how well he would perform, but consented. He displayed nystagmus at maximum deviation, onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degree in both eyes, and could not keep his head still during the HGN test. During the walk-and-turn exercise, the officer used an “imaginary” line and the driver had difficulty maintaining his balance and walking in a straight line. He counted improperly and used his arms for balance during the one-leg stand, but reportedly performed the finger-to-nose test well.
The officer deemed this performance unsatisfactory and arrested the driver for DUI. (Date of Arrest: August 11, 2011) However, the driver refused to provide a breath alcohol sample. Attorneys at Meldon Law filed a Motion to Suppress, arguing that the driver’s consent to perform field sobriety exercises was not voluntary. The motion was granted and the driver was thereafter charged only with Reckless Driving with Alcohol.