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Fort Lauderdale Reasonable Suspicion to Request FSEs Attorney

Nearly every time a police officer pulls a driver over for a suspected DUI in Fort Lauderdale, they will ask the motorist to submit to field sobriety exercises (FSEs). All drivers should know that these tests are voluntary and you have no legal obligation to perform them. While the officer can bring up the fact that you refused the FSEs in court, most juries understand that people have many good reasons for not doing them.

If you do submit to the tests, the officer will likely state that you showed signs of impairment, even if you did not, so they can make an arrest. When your rights are violated in this manner, a Fort Lauderdale reasonable suspicion to request FSEs attorney can help with your case.

Police Must Have Reasonable Suspicion to Request FSEs

Police officers cannot ask any driver to perform field sobriety exercises. Before they can make such a request of a driver, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is under the influence. This means the officer must have noticed the driver exhibiting behavior that would suggest they were impaired while behind the wheel.

What Constitutes Reasonable Suspicion to Request FSEs?

Just as police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over for a suspected DUI, they must also have reasonable suspicion to ask motorists to perform FSEs. An officer may point to a number of behaviors the driver exhibited that gave them this reasonable suspicion, which may include:

  • The smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, but the smell of alcohol alone is not enough
  • The driver’s own admission that they had consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel
  • Slurred speech
  • Eyes that are watery, glassy, or bloodshot
  • Uneven gait or uncoordinated movements
  • Difficulty finding documents such as a driver’s license, proof of insurance, or registration

It is not uncommon for police officers to argue that they observed these signs of intoxication even when they did not. If they admit they did not have reasonable suspicion before asking a driver to perform an FSE, any evidence they obtained as a result from the exercises may be thrown out of court. Often, the officer will recite the same behaviors, even in the same order, every time they testify in a DUI case.

Reasonable Suspicion to Request FSEs Does Not Allow Officers to Compel You to Take the Test

Although some court opinions have determined that police officers can compel drivers to submit to FSEs, others have disagreed. Generally speaking, the courts in Fort Lauderdale will find that unless the officer has probable cause to arrest a person, they cannot force or compel motorists to submit to these exercises.

Our Reasonable Suspicion to Request FSEs Attorney in Fort Lauderdale Can Help with Your Case

If a police officer wrongfully forced you to do field sobriety exercises, our Fort Lauderdale reasonable suspicion to request FSEs attorney at Meldon Law can help restore your rights and defend against your charges. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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