Do roadside Olympics really test normal faculties?
If you are as confused by big fancy lawyer words, like most of the potential jurors that we have an opportunity to meet and talk with, then this post is for you. Aggressive DUI defense starts with knowledge. Knowledge is important not only with the Attorney you hire but it is vital for you when dealing with an officer on the street who has just stopped you for a bogus traffic infraction.
Lets talk about the words “NORMAL FACULTIES”. What does this mean and how is it used against individuals by the police?
Definition according to the Florida Statutes: 316.1934 Presumption of impairment; testing methods.—
(1) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in chapter 322 and in s. 316.193 for any person who is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired or to the extent that the person is deprived of full possession of normal faculties, to drive or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle within this state. Such normal faculties include, but are not limited to, the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, normally perform the many mental and physical acts of daily life.
Normal Faculties are those actions of everyday life. Can you walk, talk and hear properly. Can you judge distances when asked to pull your car over on the roadway (did you hit the curb?), can you act in “emergencies” (how long did it take you to pull over when the blue lights came on?)
When you take your test to obtain your drivers license, did you have to walk heel to toe on a straight line or stand with one foot raised 6 inches from the grounds counting outloud? If the answer is NO, which should be everyone in America’s response, then ask yourself why would you have to perform these impromptu exercises on the roadside while cars pass you by. Police use these areas of evaluation to “dispel their suspicion that you are impaired”, or do they? If you ask most DUI Attorneys , field sobriety tests or divided attention tests are not true tests of normal faculties and call into play an individuals medical conditions. They are designed to make you perform dangerous balancing tests that ultimately do more harm than good. These voluntary tests have nothing to do with the list of “normal faculties” you just read and more times than not can lead to wrongly arrested citizens charged with DUI . The truth of the matter is that no matter how well or how poorly you perform these balancing tests, the officer has no idea what you blood alcohol concentration (BAC) actually is. It is impossible for the officer to know when you last consumed alcohol and how much alcohol you consumed. Because Florida does not have pre-arrest breath testing, officers try and bully citizens into performing these ridiculous tests on video to substantiate why they arrested someone.
Remember, the road side Olympics that the officer wants you to perform are 100% VOLUNTARY and you have no responsibility to dispel any suspicion of impairment they may have.
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