Police officers in Florida regularly conduct field sobriety tests when they suspect a motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This has become a different process over the past two decades to some degree. Law enforcement agencies no longer depend solely on a breath analysis in determining alcohol impairment, and there is a new emphasis on detecting others chemicals and drugs in the bloodstream at the time of testing. The court is focused more on accuracy than conviction in the current climate, and many inebriated drivers have been able to pass a breath test while still being too intoxicated to be on the road. This situation has led to some testing methods not being as accurate as the courts would like.
Untrained officer test administration
Many officers who are new to the force are not certified in testing in the early days of their employment. For the purposes of time, they will often conduct the test themselves without asking for help from a certified officer when making a suspected DUI stop.
Lack of reasonable suspicion
Police officers are often too quick in suspecting drunk driving, which commonly results in sobriety checks on drivers who are not intoxicated. Not every driver is a suspect of impaired driving, and especially when the officer cannot smell alcohol at the scene.
Lack of probable cause
Not only do officers conduct faulty impaired driving tests without reasonable suspicion, but they also make arrests based on bad judgment regarding probable cause. The mere fact someone has been apprehended does not mean they were indeed impaired. Over-zealous officers tend to rely too heavily on their personal testimony for conviction, which can be questioned in court.
These are three primary mistakes that police officers tend to make when performing a bad sobriety test and subsequent arrest. Additionally, they often fail to inform the suspect of their right to remain silent at the time of the arrest. This must be done before or at the time of handcuffing the prisoner, but your rights begin from the very initialization of the stop.