Lawyer John M. Castellano says, “Don’t be bullied into getting out of the car to do those ridiculous ‘roadside sobriety tests!’ “

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What I am about to tell you may seem untrue, or too good to be true; but it is what it is, unadulterated truth: As an experienced Ft Lauderdale criminal lawyer and Broward DUI lawyer, I can safely tell you that there is no law requiring you to be foolish enough to get out of the car to perform the now unconstitutional “roadsides” — or what the arresting officers and prosecutors formerly called “sobriety” or “physical performance “tests.” You know the ones I’m referring to, i.e., the “finger to nose test,” the “heel to toe test,” the “alphabet test,” the “walk the line test,” the “balance test,” all the “tests” that the officers deceive or muscle you into doing. (You may chose to get out of the car, just to avoid being dragged out, but please don’t be unwise and perform the “tests,” or capitulate to the officer when he or she “requests” that you “perform” some “simple” roadside “sobriety” “tests.”You cannot be arrested for refusal to perform these “tests,” though most uninformed folks don’t know this fact and they think they have no choice. (The officer may add a small misdemeanor charge if you refuse to get out of the car– but this is even better inasmuch as you stay off the “video” that way, and this is far less severe than a DUI charge, called “refusal to obey police officer,” but hey, that’s a much smaller hemorrhoid than a DUI arrest.) That’s right:

I had said that these “tests” were no longer required, if they ever were; and it’s certainly true, these “tests” have since been declared unconstitutional (by the Florida Supreme Court) but then, surprise, surprise, the DUI Task Force officers are now getting cute and calling these “tests” our very own “exercises,” imagine that. That’s just what you want to do at night on the side of the busy highway — a nice time to “exercise,” and a good way to “prove” your sobriety (and don’t forget, in this country you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around, needing to “prove” your innocence or sobriety here) with cars flying by you at a high rate of speed, headlights in your eyes and the police cruiser’s overhead emergency lights strobing red, white and blue every millisecond for that extra nice, disorienting effect, an uneven surface for you to walk along, perhaps some gravel on the roadway to make things even more ridiculously difficult, and let’s not forget the nice officer’s flashlight in your face from time to time. Note:

These “tests” are still “tests” no matter how many times they call them “exercises,” so don’t be foolish or gullible (now that you know the difference) and think you have to do them. Those who do so, are “acquiescing to apparent authority,” not knowing that they have a lawful right to refuse to perform them. Now YOU know the difference, and the law, and YOU don’t have to perform any of these “roadsides” or whatever warm and fuzzy name they think to call them next. Be smart, don’t help the officer bury you in his report. Why?

If the officer asks you to get out of your car to perform these “tests” or “exercises” or whatever they’d prefer to call them, the officer already knows that he or she is going to arrest you. (The typical, uninformed individual agrees to perform these tests in the unrealistic hope that they’ll somehow pass the tests and the nice officer will then let them go; but this never happens.)It’s best for the officer to be forced a year later in court to testify from his report — having no independent recall, “suspect refused roadsides.” We get the officer to come down off the witness stand to perform the same exact “tests” or “exercises” in front of the jury, and invariably, the officer will miss his or her nose in the demonstrated “finger to nose test,” or sway on the “balance test,” or miss their heel in the “heel to toe test,” or make some mistake that allows the defense lawyer to then ask, “You haven’t been drinking, have you officer?” “Just a little nervous?” “Like my client may have been at that late hour with cars racing by and with lights in his face …? Bottom line:

You have to like that old scripture Solomon wrote 3000 years ago, and it has to be the origin of our very own 6th Amendment’s “confrontation clause” which gives us our cherished right of “cross examination” today: “The first to present his case seems right, Until another comes forward and questions him.” Proverbs 18:17 🙂


About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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