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Defective Equipment, Marked Lanes, .13 Breath Test…

Officer is conducting stationary patrol in the parking lot of a convenience store when he observes client “brake suddenly” and then enter the store parking lot.  After seeing client purchase alcohol from the store, officer notices that her license plate is partially obstructed by a defective spoiler and he begins to follow the car, at which time he notices that the car is weaving and varying speeds for no apparent reason.  After stopping the vehicle, the officer determines that client failed several field sobriety tests, including the Alphabet Test.  Subsequent to the arrest, client submits to a breath test indicating a .13 BAC.  At trial the defense calls into question whether the breath test was adminstered properly and then introduces expert testimony to show that the breath test result may not have been an accurate reflection of the client’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of driving.  VERDICT:  NOT GUILTY.

911 Caller, Erratic Operation, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…

Client is stopped by police after a 911 caller reports witnessing extremely erratic operation.  Officer is met with a strong odor of alcohol after the vehicle and client has difficulty producing license and registration when asked.  Client allegedly performs horribly of several field sobriety and has difficulty answering even simple questions.  Defense introduces testimony from client’s treating physician to demonstrate that client suffers from an extreme form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that could explain her inability to perform the FSTs and answer seemingly simple questions.  VERDICT: NOT GUILTY

Speeding, Marked Lanes Violations, Failed FSTs…

Officer observes client travelling 45 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. zone while committing numerous marked lanes violations.  Upon approaching the vehicle, police officer observes a large bottle of vodka protruding from beneath the passenger seat.  Client admits to having 2 drinks while at a concert earlier in the evening.  Client fails the HGN Test, One Leg Stand Test, the Walk and Turn Test and a Counting Test before being placed under arrest.  A post-arrest search of client’s wallet reveals numerous receipts reflecting drink purchases that evening, however said evidence is suppressed prior to trial due to an improper search and seizure.  On cross-examination the defense questions the reliabilty of the field sobriety test evidence and introduces a videotape of the booking to demostrates client’s appearance and condition at the time.  VERDICT: NOT GUILTY.

Clocked at 15 mph Over Speed Limit, “Modified” FSTs….

Client is stopped at 2:15 am after officer “clocks” his speed by travelling at the same speed as client’s vehicle for a certain period of time.  Upon approaching the car, officer is met with a strong odor of alcohol and describes client’s speech as “thick tongued.”  Client states that he “probably had one beer” and is ordered to exit the car.  Client submits at a series of field sobriety tests and is subsequently arrested.  At trial, the 23-year-veteren police officer testifies that he can not recall the specifics of his training relative to the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests but instead chooses to “modify” them so as to make them easier for the citizen to perform.  On cross-examination the defense demonstrates how poorly the arresting officer conducted his investigation and argues that such “modified” FSTs are of no relevance.  VERDICT:  NOT GUILTY.

Disabled Vehicle, Failed FSTs, No Proof Of Impaired Operation…

Client is found sitting in the driver’s seat of her car on the side of the road just before 5:00 a.m.  Officer approaches and detects a strong odor of alcohol coming from client’s breath as well as other possible signs of intoxication.  Officer adminsiters a series of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and then places client under arrest for Driving while Intoxicated.  Defense argues that there is insufficent evidence to demonstrate impairment at the time of driving.  VERDICT: DWI COMPLAINT DISMISSED

Parked in Fire Lane, Unsteadiness, Odor of Alcohol…

Client is parked, briefly, in a Fire Lane when officer apporaches and orders him to move his vehicle.  Officer testifies client’s eyes were dialated  and that his speeach was slurred.  After three attemopts client is able to produice his license and then stumbles as he’s asked to exit the motor vehicle.  After allegedly failing two Field Sobriety Tests client is arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated.  Defense argues that his appearance and performance of the FSTs is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was impaired by alcohol att he time.  VERDICT:  DWI COMPLAINT DISMISSED.

Single Car Accident, Refusing Field Sobriety Tests…

Police are called to the scene of a single car accident where they are met by a homeowner who indicates that the driver of the vehicle had come to her home seeking assistance.  Client is observed to be shaking and visibly upset when approached by the officer.  After detecting an odor of alcohol, officer asks client if she had been drinking and client admits to drinking one glass of wine earlier in the night. After giving somewhat inconsistent accounts of her whereabouts prior to the accident, client is arrested and charged with Operating Under the Influence.  Subsequent investigation reveals that the homeowner who intially called the police observed no signs of impairment.  VERDICT:  COMPLAINT FOR OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE DISMISSED.

Underage Driver, Marked Lanes,.14 Breath Test…

Client, operating on a driver’s permit, is stopped at 1:35 a.m. after allegedly making several marked lanes violations.  Officer detects an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle and observes client’s eyes to be bloodshot and glossy.  When asked, client admits to having “a couple beers.”  Client is asked to perform four field sobriety test and is allegedly observed to be ”almost falling over.”   After being placed under arrest client is transported to the police department where he submits to a breath test indicating a .14 BAC.  At trial defense successfully undermines the credibility of the arresting officer and demonstrates that the breath test may not have been administered properly.  VERDICT:  NOT GUILTY.

Failure to Maintain Lane, Failed FSTs, Scale of 1-to-10…

Client is stopped for failing to maintain her travel lane and straddling the center line.  After stopping the vehicle, officer detects a strong odor of alcohol and asks client to perform a series of three (3) Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (HGN, One Leg Stand, Walk and Turn).   At the conclusion of the field sobriety tests client is asked to “rate her level of impairment on a scale of 1-to-10,” and indicates that she is a “four.”   At trial defense demonstrates that client was not familiar with the area and that the driving observed by the officer was consistent with someone who may have been lost.  Defense also argues that she should have been advised of her so-called Miranda rights before being asked to rate her own level of impairment.  RESULT:  NOT GUILTY

Single-Car Accident, Leaving the Scene, Incoherent Behavior…

Police respond to the scene of a single-car accident at 11:30 p.m.   Witnesses indicate to the first responding officer that the operator fled on foot.  Client is then apprehend a few blocks away where she was found “unsteady on her feet and could barely speak.”   At trial client is convicted Leaving the Scene of Property Damage, but defense argues that the was insfficient evidence to prove that alcohol (and not some other substance) was the cause of the defendant’s impairment.  VERDICT:  NOT GUILTY.