"If you don't know about it, then you're a victim of your own ignorance." DC DUI law


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K-Romulus
October 12, 2005, 10:39 AM
One more reason to hate DC:

ONE glass of wine with dinner at an overpriced DC steakhouse + driving home = DUI arrest and possible conviction!! :banghead:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/11/AR2005101101968_pf.html

Single Glass of Wine Immerses D.C. Driver in Legal Battle

By Brigid Schulte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 12, 2005; A01



Debra Bolton had a glass of red wine with dinner. That's what she told the police officer who pulled her over. That's what the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test indicated -- .03, comfortably below the legal limit.

She had been pulled over in Georgetown about 12:30 a.m. for driving without headlights. She apologized and explained that the parking attendant must have turned off her vehicle's automatic-light feature.

Bolton thought she might get a ticket. Instead, she was handcuffed, searched, arrested, put in a jail cell until 4:30 a.m. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bolton, 45, an energy lawyer and single mother of two who lives in Alexandria, had just run into a little-known piece of D.C. law: In the District, a driver can be arrested with as little as .01 blood-alcohol content.

As D.C. police officer Dennis Fair, who arrested Bolton on May 15, put it in an interview recently: "If you get behind the wheel of a car with any measurable amount of alcohol, you will be dealt with in D.C. We have zero tolerance. . . . Anything above .01, we can arrest."

Neither the police department nor the attorney general's office keeps detailed records of how many people with low blood alcohol levels are arrested. But last year, according to police records, 321 people were arrested for driving under the influence with blood alcohol levels below the legal limit of .08. In 2003, 409 people were arrested.

Although low blood alcohol arrests have been made in other states in conjunction with dangerous driving, lawyers, prosecutors and advocates of drunken driving prevention said they knew of no place besides the District that had such a low threshold for routine DUI arrests. In Maryland and Virginia, as in other states, drivers generally are presumed not to be intoxicated if they test below .05. Nationwide, .08 is the legal limit -- meaning a driver is automatically presumed to be intoxicated.

Fair acknowledged that many people aren't aware of the District's policy. "But it is our law," he said. "If you don't know about it, then you're a victim of your own ignorance."

Bolton said she didn't know. But defense lawyers who practice in the District do.

"Even one drink can get you in trouble in D.C.," said Thomas Key, a lawyer who successfully defended a client who had a blood alcohol level of .03. "They might not win a lot of these cases or prosecute them, but they're still arresting people."

Not many people fight the charge, said Richard Lebowitz, another defense lawyer, because the District offers a "diversion program" of counseling for first-time offenders.

"If diversion is offered and accepted, there's a guarantee that the charges will be dropped," Lebowitz said. "If you go to court and try to prove your innocence, it's a coin-flip. So most people choose diversion."

Bolton didn't. She balked at the $400 fee and the 24 hours of class time required to attend the "social drinker" program.

"I think it would have been fine if I'd done something wrong, but I didn't," she said. "I had a glass of wine with dinner."

Instead, she hired a lawyer. In August, after Bolton made several fruitless appearances in D.C. Superior Court, prosecutors dropped the DUI charge. But then she had to battle the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, which warned that it would suspend her driving privileges at the end of this month unless she went through an alcohol prevention program.

As Bolton remembers it, it was early morning May 15 and she had barely gone a few hundred yards before she was pulled over on K Street NW. The officer, Fair, asked her whether she realized the headlights on her Acura MDX sport-utility vehicle were off.

"Oh, man, am I going to get a ticket for this?" she remembers saying to him jokingly.

Then he asked her whether she'd had anything to drink.

"Not really," she said. And when he asked her again, more firmly, she answered that she'd had a glass of wine with dinner at Cafe Milano.

He asked her to recite the alphabet. In his report, Fair wrote that he had asked her to start at the letter D and stop at X. Bolton said she thought he had asked her to stop at S and tossed off the alphabet quickly and accurately to S.

As a result, Fair noted in his report that she had "jumbled" it.

Then he asked her to get out of the car.

Fair asked her to walk a straight line and then stand on one foot to the count of 30. He looked into her eyes to check for jerkiness. Bolton, dressed in black silk pants and a pink shirt, took off her pink high heels to be more sure-footed. She said she thought she had aced the tests. "All that yoga really paid off," she thought.

But in the police report, Fair wrote that she swayed as she walked and lost her balance -- which Bolton disputes. He told her she was under arrest.

"Why?" Bolton remembers saying. "I passed all your little tests."

On his report, Fair wrote that Bolton failed 10 indicators of sobriety. But James E. Klaunig, a toxicology expert at Indiana University's medical school who for 12 years oversaw the state's drunken driving testing, said that such a determination was scientifically improbable.

"There's no way possible she failed a test from impairment with a .03" blood alcohol level, Klaunig said. "And reciting the alphabet is not an acceptable way of measuring impairment, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."

Fair, who said he does not comment on individual arrests, noted in his report that Bolton's attitude was "excited," "carefree" and "cocky."

"I was sort of laughing," Bolton said. "I look back and wonder, was I cocky? Did I have an attitude? Well, yeah, because I was sober, so I thought it was all so ridiculous."

Fair handcuffed her. Bolton said she was terrified. Until then, her only brush with the law had been a ticket for speeding in a 15-mph zone in 2002.

At 1:08 a.m., at the 2nd Police District station, Fair asked Bolton to blow into the Intoxilyzer 5000. It read .03.

"See?" she remembers saying.

He had her breathe into the machine one minute later. Again, .03.

"See?"

But Fair told her D.C. law was on his side.

On the department's Web site, D.C. police explain it this way: "Technically, according to the D.C. Code, the District of Columbia has a zero tolerance for driving under the influence. If a person 21 years of age or older has a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent [to] .04 percent and extremely bad driving, this person can be placed under arrest for Driving Under the Influence of an alcoholic beverage."

At low levels of alcohol, an arrest comes down to an officer's discretion, said D.C. police Inspector Patrick Burke, former head of the traffic division.

Fair, he said, has 15 years of experience and averages more than 100 drunken driving arrests a year and is well qualified to make the call. In 1998, Fair arrested Marlene Cooke, wife of the late Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, for drunken driving after she piloted her Land Rover through Dupont Circle without the headlights on. She refused a breath test but was later convicted.

"I always say the safe bet, if you drive, is not to drink at all," Burke said. "But even looking from a D.C. tourism standpoint, we'd be killing ourselves if we were saying you can't go out and have a glass of wine with dinner. That'd be ridiculous. So we tell people, you have to know your limits."

Bolton sat in a jail cell until 4:30 a.m. As she left, Fair told her he had given her a warning, not a ticket, for driving without headlights. She walked the few blocks to Wisconsin Avenue NW, caught a cab to her car on K Street and drove across the bridge to Virginia. There, she said, she pulled over and cried for 45 minutes.

Since what she refers to as her "unfortunate incarceration," Bolton has spent hours in D.C. Superior Court and at the DMV and $2,000 so far fighting the DUI charge. Her refusal to submit to the 12-week alcohol counseling diversion program has sent her on a "surreal" odyssey.

Twice, after hours of waiting, prosecutors told her that they had lost her file and that she would have to come back.

On Aug. 22, after four court appearances, prosecutors dropped the charge. But she spent all of September battling the DMV to keep her driving privileges from being suspended for three months.

Corey Buffo, the DMV's general counsel, explained that the agency drops its procedures only after a case goes to trial and is dismissed on its merits. "Our burden of proof is lower" than the Superior Court's, he said. "Not enough evidence for them may be enough evidence for us." Yesterday, the DMV decided not to suspend her privileges and issued her a warning instead.

After so many months, Debra Bolton is just glad it's over. "It's lunacy," she said. "I'm all for limits on drinking and driving. Whatever the rules are, I will abide by them. I just didn't know these were the rules."

These days, Bolton goes out to eat in Virginia. And she keeps a yellow sticky note on her steering wheel to remind her to make sure her headlights are on.
******

Good for her. Her money should stay in America, where it belongs . . . :fire:

DC is also the place where they have instituted price caps on prescription drugs (allowing DC residents to sue drug companies for treble damages for "unreasonable" drug prices). "Unreasonable" being defined as more than what Europe and Canada pay for the same drug . . .

And it has the infamous "machine gun liability law" that holds firearms makers liable for injuries that happen in DC involving any firearm that "could" fire more than twelve times without reloading (including pump action and semi-auto), even if the firearm is illegal in DC . . . :banghead:

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hkOrion
October 12, 2005, 11:10 AM
So what country is this 'DC' place in? I don't want to go there....

Henry Bowman
October 12, 2005, 11:25 AM
Good thing Ted Kennedy has a driver. :uhoh:

brickeyee
October 12, 2005, 11:27 AM
Future dinning out in DC is cancelled. I can keep my money in Virginia.

Mr. James
October 12, 2005, 11:29 AM
I work in this ****hole, and this is it. I'm not buying so much as a stick of gum in this dysfunctional third-world cesspool.

Justin
October 12, 2005, 11:30 AM
Zero tolerance?

Better lay off having a glass of orange juice with your morning bowl of Rice Krispies...

Gunpacker
October 12, 2005, 11:32 AM
On the prescription drug suits. I don't understand why foreign owned drug companies can simply charge ALL "development" costs to Americans, and sell for less to the homeland of the owners. Check out the owners of drug companies. They are almost all now owned by foreign drug companies. They may have old American names, but the guys in charge are european.
An American with little resources or savings, except possibly a home that he is struggling to keep, is forced to pay several times the cost paid by canadians or europeans. Of course they give them away to africans, and pass the cost along to the struggling Americans. Damn right, sue them for triple.

Pilgrim
October 12, 2005, 11:44 AM
Although low blood alcohol arrests have been made in other states in conjunction with dangerous driving, lawyers, prosecutors and advocates of drunken driving prevention said they knew of no place besides the District that had such a low threshold for routine DUI arrests. In Maryland and Virginia, as in other states, drivers generally are presumed not to be intoxicated if they test below .05. Nationwide, .08 is the legal limit -- meaning a driver is automatically presumed to be intoxicated.

The PDRK's law concerning DUI is two-pronged. 23152a makes it illegal to drive while under the influence. 23152b makes it illegal to drive with .08% or more blood alcohol content. For a conviction under the 'a' section, the state has to prove that the defendant had a measurable amount of alcohol or drugs in the blood and it caused the defendant's ability to drive to be impaired.

Getting a conviction under the 'a' section when the only driving violation is an equipment fault is nigh on impossible because equipment faults do not demonstrate impaired driving. Even driving without headlights on can be explained away on brightly lit city streets.

If a defendant's blood alcohol is less than .08%, the defendant is often offered a plea bargain where he pleads guilty to what is called a 'wet reckless' driving charge. A 'wet reckless' does not have the stiff penalties of a DUI conviction, but does count as a prior offense if the defendant is later convicted of a subsequent DUI offense. In my experience, deputy district attorney's did not bother to prosecute any blood alcohol readings of less than .05%

IIRC, commercial drivers had a 'b' section threshold of .04%. Juveniles, .01%. A juvenile convicted of .01% DUI lost his license for a year.

Pilgrim

Justin
October 12, 2005, 11:48 AM
Gunpacker, that's because the United States is the only nation where healthcare isn't "free."

rick_reno
October 12, 2005, 11:50 AM
Not to worry, all the important people have drivers. I'm just glad this law won't impact the fuctioning of our Federal agencies.

TheEgg
October 12, 2005, 12:53 PM
As D.C. police officer Dennis Fair, who arrested Bolton on May 15, put it in an interview recently: "If you get behind the wheel of a car with any measurable amount of alcohol, you will be dealt with in D.C. We have zero tolerance. . . . Anything above .01, we can arrest."

JBT of the worst sort. Enjoys tormenting the citizens and enforcing stupid laws. :banghead:

Biker
October 12, 2005, 12:57 PM
Truly insane, but that's the direction most of the country is going. Hell, I would venture to guess that obesity kills more people than "impaired drivers" do, but we don't see people going to jail for 'Driving While Fat'.
Biker

torpid
October 12, 2005, 01:00 PM
Hell, I would venture to guess that obesity kills more people than "impaired drivers" do, but we don't see people going to jail for 'Driving While Fat'.

...yet.

:uhoh:

pbhome71
October 12, 2005, 01:16 PM
But last year, according to police records, 321 people were arrested for driving under the influence with blood alcohol levels below the legal limit of .08.



Fair, he said, has 15 years of experience and averages more than 100 drunken driving arrests a year and is well qualified to make the call.


I found the above very interesting. It looks like the officer made over 1/3 of the arrest last year. I think he is the expert in this area.

dasmi
October 12, 2005, 01:22 PM
ONE glass of wine with dinner at an overpriced DC steakhouse + driving home = DUI arrest and possible conviction!!
only for us serfs, how often do you think congressmen will get pulled over?
Congressmen X driving home from some State function, after swilling scotch all nigth...

Camp David
October 12, 2005, 01:22 PM
JBT of the worst sort. Enjoys tormenting the citizens and enforcing stupid laws.

I agree!

Do yourself a favor... never visit the District of Columbia... it's a sewer of third-world dysfunctionality and abridgement of the Bill of Rights! Never support their quest to get voting rights! Don't patronize anything related to the District of Columbia...

:mad:

Bad Words
October 12, 2005, 01:27 PM
pbhome - it didn't say 321 DUI's, it said 321 DUI's under .08, while the officer said he averages over 100.

Car Knocker
October 12, 2005, 01:32 PM
pbhome71,

I may be a bit picky here, but look at your quotes again.

Fair says he makes about 100 DUI arrests a year.

D.C. records state that 321 people were arrested below .08 blood alcohol level.

The article doesn't state how many total DUIs were arrested nor does it state how many under .08 Fair arrested.

Therefore there is no way of knowing, from the information given, what portion of DUI arrests, in any category, Fair personally accounted for.

pbhome71
October 12, 2005, 01:50 PM
Yes, good point. Thanks for pointing that out.

-Pat

Beethoven
October 12, 2005, 03:01 PM
Debra Bolton had a glass of red wine with dinner. That's what she told the police officer who pulled her over. That's what the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test indicated -- .03, comfortably below the legal limit.


Which is precisely why you NEVER admit guilt to a police officer. 5th Amendment.

Officer: "Do you know why I stopped you?"

Me: "Not a clue."

Off: "Were you speeding?"

Me: "Of course not!"

Off: "Have you had anything to drink tonight?"

Me: "Of course not."


5th Amendment, baby.

svtruth
October 12, 2005, 04:01 PM
What would happen if someone did a comparison of ETOH impairment vs age?
If oldies (like me @58) are shown to be = to .04% (say) then we should be arrested and have our licenses pulled.
What would AARP say?

Chrontius
October 12, 2005, 10:29 PM
I'd be tempted to pop a Listerine pocketstrip before I blew just to make life more difficult for the cop. I know it's not his fault, but the best way to remove an unjust law is to enforce it fairly. Blow .65 (ever tried one of those Listerine things?) pee in a cup, and sue the department sounds entirely possible (and a bit more prick-ish than I'd be willing to go). (Dunno if there'd be much of a case, but if the RIAA can nuisance-suit their foes into oblivion, the Teeming Masses(tm) sure can.)

beerslurpy
October 12, 2005, 10:55 PM
Getting a conviction under the 'a' section when the only driving violation is an equipment fault is nigh on impossible because equipment faults do not demonstrate impaired driving. Even driving without headlights on can be explained away on brightly lit city streets.

A long time ago I got pulled over for this exact reason and gave that exact explanation and was immediately let go. It was a very brightly lit street and I didnt even notice my lights were off. He was like "oh, ok be careful" and that was it.

This was in southern maryland lol upwind.

Flyboy
October 12, 2005, 11:00 PM
Keep about 1/4 oz of Everclear in a small blister-bubble or such in your car. If you get pulled over, put it in your mouth and keep it in your cheek. If he wants you to blow in the little tube, crush it (spilling the Everclear) and blow.

Let's see how many convictions he gets when his brethalyzer shows you at three or four times LD50.

patrol120
October 12, 2005, 11:23 PM
The PDRK's law concerning DUI is two-pronged. 23152a makes it illegal to drive while under the influence. 23152b makes it illegal to drive with .08% or more blood alcohol content. For a conviction under the 'a' section, the state has to prove that the defendant had a measurable amount of alcohol or drugs in the blood and it caused the defendant's ability to drive to be impaired

Oklahoma, and most stes I know of, have the same law. It is against the law to drive in an "impaired" state. Period. The BAC Level is simply prima facea evidence. I dont have to prove you were impaired if you blow a .08BAC, all I have to prove is that you blew.

I have arrested, and had convicted, several people who blew well under the legal limt for DUI. All I have to prove is that you were not in a state that allowed you to safely operate a motor vehcle. The same law applies to DUI Drugs. Nothing new or revolutionary here.

patrol120
October 12, 2005, 11:27 PM
Keep about 1/4 oz of Everclear in a small blister-bubble or such in your car. If you get pulled over, put it in your mouth and keep it in your cheek. If he wants you to blow in the little tube, crush it (spilling the Everclear) and blow.

Let's see how many convictions he gets when his brethalyzer shows you at three or four times LD50

It dont work that way, brother. First, you get a minimum of a fifteen minute deprivation period. Second, I make sure your mouth is empty. If its not, you get a refusal, and you go to jail. Third, if you were to blow that high, the breath test would be deemed a "No Sample, and the whole thing would be repeated, as it would be obvious you were not that drunk.

DUI Laws are a very good thing, and they are pretty foolproof when it comes to the tests administered.

Lupinus
October 12, 2005, 11:41 PM
yeah pat

When you don't have a supercop weiner busting people's chops.

Flyboy
October 13, 2005, 12:00 AM
It dont work that way, brother. First, you get a minimum of a fifteen minute deprivation period. Second, I make sure your mouth is empty. If its not, you get a refusal, and you go to jail. Third, if you were to blow that high, the breath test would be deemed a "No Sample, and the whole thing would be repeated, as it would be obvious you were not that drunk.
It was an amusing thought anyway.

patrol120
October 13, 2005, 12:03 AM
Yes, it is entertaining. Youd be amazed the crap people try to pull on the Intoxylyzer. Ive found more weird crap in folk's mouths...pennies, dope, rocks, glass, etc, all because they heard it will make the test invalid.

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 12:06 AM
they tested it on mythbussters

none of it worked

c_yeager
October 13, 2005, 01:40 AM
"Even one drink can get you in trouble in D.C.," said Thomas Key, a lawyer who successfully defended a client who had a blood alcohol level of .03. "They might not win a lot of these cases or prosecute them, but they're still arresting people."

And this is where the police cross the line between being a body that enforces laws to one that acts as judge and jury.

Jeff White
October 13, 2005, 04:27 AM
It sounds to me like it's an update of the old speed trap. $400 for the diversion program and you don't have a DUI on your record......I'd be interested to know who gets that $400.

Jeff

tater_salad
October 13, 2005, 06:15 AM
Sorry all, but I'm going to have to go against the grain here. As I understand it, the cop was well within his rights to arrest the woman, regardless of how much she had to drink, and here's why. He was able to pull her over because she was driving at night with her headlights out, that warrants a traffic stop if the officer so chooses. Now most police officers will not just 'pull someone out of their car, cuff them, and throw them in the back of a squad' for not having their headlights on as this woman stated. All stories are one sided, remember that. My guess is that when the PO went up to the womans car, he smelled the alcohol on her, giving him probable cause to give her a field sobriety test on the spot. Given the combination of alcohol on her breath (after she originally told him she didn't 'really' have anything to drink, and then changed her story) and her lights out while driving at night, I may well have done the same thing in his position. Furthermore, she failed multiple parts of the field sobriety test, whether or not this should be considered 'fair' is negligible, the PO felt that she was intoxicated, and took the correct action. It doesn't matter what your BAC is according to the law, the law leaves the descretion up to the offcer and the reason for that is different people react differently to alcohol in their bodies, i.e. tolerance. Some people can function just fine at .06 or .07, and some people can't at .03 or .04, there are many other factors besides tolerance but the point is, just because she had a low BAC does not mean that it didn't affect her, she could have been very impaired (key word impaired) from a BAC of .03. She won't admit the fact that she was impaired while driving and get help, insted she wants to fight the charge and (basically) call a seasoned police officer an incomptent piece of ???? in the process. Shame on her. :cuss:
(zipping up flame suit...)

BTW, 1 drink can get you in trouble in most any state, I believe the law is called DWI (driving while impaired) as opposed to DUI (driving under the influence). Basically what I was trying to say earlier - this law puts you at fault if you are impaired, not if you are over the legal limit. But like is fairly common, I could be wrong.

TheEgg
October 13, 2005, 10:30 AM
Sorry tater, this looks to me like a simple "revenue-enhancement" scheme rather than a public safety issue.

Or, if we want to go your way, let us do road blocks and lock up everyone who has had too much coffee, or anyone who has taken a cold pill, or some cough syrup, or didn't get much sleep last night because of a sick baby, etc. etc. etc. I bet you could make an argument that all of these people are 'impaired' in some way.

Only perfect people, in perfect condition, get to drive I guess (or get to own guns?).

Kharn
October 13, 2005, 12:10 PM
they tested it on mythbussters
none of it workedI thought the cops wouldnt let them try it with peanut butter, or something like that?

Kharn

longrifleman
October 13, 2005, 12:15 PM
"Why?" Bolton remembers saying. "I passed all your little tests."

She got busted because she wasn't properly subservient.

Corey Buffo, the DMV's general counsel, explained that the agency drops its procedures only after a case goes to trial and is dismissed on its merits. "Our burden of proof is lower" than the Superior Court's, he said. "Not enough evidence for them may be enough evidence for us." Yesterday, the DMV decided not to suspend her privileges and issued her a warning instead.

Where was her due process here? The DMV can decide on their own she is guilty and punish her without trial. And you guys think this is OK?

Art Eatman
October 13, 2005, 12:29 PM
patrol120, my problem with your final comment is that it's hard for me to believe that somebody who can't safely control their vehicle while below 0.08 could control a vehicle at 0.00.

If you stopped them for apparently-impaired driving, and they're below 0.08, I don't think booze had much to do with the problem.

And I'm speaking as one who--not often--has been in the conditon of, "But, oshiffer, I gotta drive! I'm too drunk to bleepin' walk!" :D But, me having safely made it home, never a DWI.

Regardless, 0.01 is purely a revenue-raising deal. The solution is to make it highly publicized. The loss of revenue to the various trendy places in Georgetown will create enough political pressure to bring change.

Art

c_yeager
October 13, 2005, 12:45 PM
I believe that .01 is a quantity of alcohol that can be naturally produced by your own body.

CAS700850
October 13, 2005, 12:56 PM
I've been to training on the BAC DataMaster machine, and the margun for error is .005%. So, it is entirely possible that a result of .01 is acually somewhere between .005 and .015.

As for impairment below .08%, I don't think that it is impossible, depending upon the person and that person's drinking experience. We've got an atorney floating around here that we swear wakes up in thmorning at a .08, and works his way up through the day. Yet, at the same time, this guy is capable of apperaing to be absolutely sober, in terms of co-ordination and such. By the same token, I had some juvenile cases where, juding by the video of the stop, you would expect a test rult well beyond a .08, due to coordination and such.

Pilgrim
October 13, 2005, 01:56 PM
Yes, it is entertaining. Youd be amazed the crap people try to pull on the Intoxylyzer. Ive found more weird crap in folk's mouths...pennies, dope, rocks, glass, etc, all because they heard it will make the test invalid.
When the police first started using radar for speed limit enforcement, people did such things as put ball bearings in their hub caps and tied strips of aluminum foil to their car's antenna.

Pilgrim

Pilgrim
October 13, 2005, 02:10 PM
Furthermore, she failed multiple parts of the field sobriety test, whether or not this should be considered 'fair' is negligible, the PO felt that she was intoxicated, and took the correct action.
When I trained for DUI enforcement, I was taught there was no such thing as passing or failing the field sobriety tests. As a result, I never put in my arrest report that so-and-so passed this test or failed that test. I reported instead what the driver did in taking the tests, i.e., he almost fell down. Or, he didn't follow instructions in performing the test.

The evaluation of a driver's degree of intoxication included his behavior before I even asked him to get out of his car for the field sobriety tests. I often encountered intoxicated drivers who couldn't find their driver's license in their wallets even though it was plainly visible to me. They would look past it, around it, and dig deep into their wallet to produce a credit card or a social security card. This observation went into my arrest report.

The point to be made is there is no single observable behavior that automatically leads the officer to conclude that an arrest is warranted. All those behaviors are recorded in the arrest report and through testimony in court causes the jury to decide the driver was under the influence and his driving was impaired.

GhostRider66
October 13, 2005, 02:13 PM
I'd be tempted to pop a Listerine pocketstrip before I blew just to make life more difficult for the cop.

I wouldn't recommend this. I have a friend who was riding as a passenger during a normal traffic stop with a designated driver. While the officer was busy running the driver, he put a piece of chewing gum in his mouth and was instantly foricibly removed from the vehicle and choked until he spit out whatever it was he was "attempting to swallow". Once the police found out it was just gum, the hauled him in for PI. He was after all, out of the vehicle. :rolleyes:

Crosshair
October 13, 2005, 02:29 PM
GhostRider66

What happened afterwards?

brickeyee
October 13, 2005, 02:31 PM
In Virginia 0.08 is DWI and 0.05 is DUI under the per se rules (all that must happen is you blow the number for a conviction).
I do know someone who was stopped in Denver CO and charged with DUI. In CO that is drunk driving.
Virginia said 'not a problem' and they kept their drivers license since DUI is the lesser charge.
Luckily this was the only lesson required to stop the problem.

GhostRider66
October 13, 2005, 02:53 PM
What happened afterwards?

Not much. He spent the night in jail and something like a fifty dollar fine. PI is extremely common apparently. Almost impossible to fight and certainly not worth more than the fifty dollar fine to fight. I know of a couple of folks who have gotten picked up on them walking home no more than a couple of blocks from a local bar. It doesn't seem to make much sense since the police keep talking about wanting to stop or curtail DUIs.

Pilgrim
October 13, 2005, 03:18 PM
I know of a couple of folks who have gotten picked up on them walking home no more than a couple of blocks from a local bar. It doesn't seem to make much sense since the police keep talking about wanting to stop or curtail DUIs.
Seems strange to me too.

We received a new sergeant at our sub-station once. He wasn't newly promoted, but new in the sense that he hadn't worked that sub-station before. He asked me why weren't we arresting all these drunks that were walking about?

I answered that there were a lot of them, and the 37 mile trip to county jail to book them tied up a deputy for an hour and a half. So, as a result the deputies took the stance that if the drunk wasn't sleeping in the streets or puking on the mayor's wife we let them be.

When I worked graveyard shift, I took to parking in front of the 'wetback' bar just prior to closing. I parked in plain sight so the patrons would see me when they left. They would see me, put their car keys in their pocket, and walk home. That was just fine with me. Another benefit of my action is the amorous patrons decided it wasn't worth fighting over the few remaining bar hogs who were hustling their favors.

Pilgrim

Biker
October 13, 2005, 03:21 PM
I like your common sense approach to the situation, Pilgrim. Makes sense to me.
Biker :)

one45auto
October 13, 2005, 03:31 PM
JBT of the worst sort. Enjoys tormenting the citizens and enforcing stupid laws. :banghead:


Regrettably he isn't an anomaly. That attitude describes about half the force in some areas.

captain obvious
October 13, 2005, 03:45 PM
IIRC one can get a up to 0.02 from bread.

Scottmkiv
October 13, 2005, 03:49 PM
When the police first started using radar for speed limit enforcement, people did such things as put ball bearings in their hub caps and tied strips of aluminum foil to their car's antenna.

Some people still hang blank cds from their rear view mirror to foil police lasers...

patrol120
October 13, 2005, 09:52 PM
IIRC one can get a up to 0.02 from bread.

This is a simple wive's tlae, as is the rumor that ones body can produce as much as 0.01BAC. Doesnt happen.

No way Id file on a .01, but I have filed full fledged DUI 2nd and Subsequent (Felony) on an individualk who blew a 0.05BAC, which is below the per se law for DWI on Oklahoma. Guess what? It stuck.

All you have to prove is that the perosn was incapable of driving a vehicle safely. Period. The BA Machine helps you do this, but is far drom necessary.

chaim
October 13, 2005, 11:29 PM
Regrettably he isn't an anomaly. That attitude describes about half the force in some areas.

This posted by:

one45auto
Senior Member



Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Columbia, Maryland


Hmm, can you be talking about a specific police dept by any chance?:evil:

Nah, can't be....Howard County police are well known in this area for their professionalism :barf:

ke6guj
October 14, 2005, 03:34 AM
It dont work that way, brother. First, you get a minimum of a fifteen minute deprivation period. Second, I make sure your mouth is empty. If its not, you get a refusal, and you go to jail. .

do you tell people that their mouth has to be empty of all substances during the 15 minute period, or are we just expected to know that?

I've also heard of officers saying that an "vurp" or "velch", wether accidental or purposeful, before the test will taint the test and that they consider it a refusal.

gunsmith
October 14, 2005, 04:20 AM
that seems real unfair!
I used to drive drunk all the time, i was so drunk i couldn't remember where i parked my motorcycle!
one time i left a bar at closing time and was followed for blocks by the cops-i was blasted out of my mind!
never got pulled over!
why??? (besides life being unfair?) I followed the letter of the law! i maintained the speed limit, signaled, came to a complete stop etc, etc!:evil:
when ever I hear some one say "life is unfair" I thank God it is!
I "deserved" a bunch of DUI's that I never got:D
DC stinks!

Moparmike
October 14, 2005, 05:29 AM
"It seems that night, everyone who was driving on the sidewalk got pulled over. That's called profilling and is illegal!"

Ron White :D

ke6guj
October 14, 2005, 05:36 AM
never got pulled over!
why??? (besides life being unfair?) I followed the letter of the law! i maintained the speed limit, signaled, came to a complete stop etc, etc!:evil: !

Man, around here, at 2AM that sounds like probable cause. Only the drunks make sure they are not speeding. Don't want to get pulled over, go about 5 over, and 5-0 won't even give you a second look. Do the speed limit, and they'll be all over your butt looking for any violation. Once they have the first violation, then they can go fishing for that DUI.

gunsmith
October 14, 2005, 06:11 AM
that seems real unfair!
I used to drive drunk all the time, i was so drunk i couldn't remember where i parked my motorcycle!
one time i left a bar at closing time and was followed for blocks by the cops-i was blasted out of my mind!
never got pulled over!
why??? (besides life being unfair?) I followed the letter of the law! i maintained the speed limit, signaled, came to a complete stop etc, etc!:evil:
when ever I hear some one say "life is unfair" I thank God it is!
I "deserved" a bunch of DUI's that I never got:D
DC stinks!

one45auto
October 15, 2005, 12:54 AM
Nah, can't be....Howard County police are well known in this area for their professionalism :barf:

Oh yeah, they're something aren't they? :rolleyes:

mtnbkr
October 15, 2005, 02:00 AM
Some people still hang blank cds from their rear view mirror to foil police lasers...
I always wondered why people did that. I thought it was a silly thing to do. It's still silly, but at least now I know why they do it.

Chris

Sheslinger
October 15, 2005, 10:07 AM
The smartest this to do is to refuse the breathalyzer test. Not sure you can in all states but my brother is a MD cop, and this is what he told me.

They can still hold you but by the morning the levels won't be anywhere near.

patrol120
October 15, 2005, 10:22 AM
The smartest this to do is to refuse the breathalyzer test. Not sure you can in all states but my brother is a MD cop, and this is what he told me.

They can still hold you but by the morning the levels won't be anywhere near.

Actually, Id prefer you refuse the State's Test. Makes for less paperwork for me, and all I have to prove is that you were incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle.

In Oklahoma, the prosecutor can also admit as evidence to the jury that you refused, which makes you look guilty. I win either way.

Pilgrim
October 15, 2005, 10:32 AM
The smartest this to do is to refuse the breathalyzer test. Not sure you can in all states but my brother is a MD cop, and this is what he told me.

They can still hold you but by the morning the levels won't be anywhere near.
In the PDRK this will get you an automatic driver's license suspension of at least a year. Then you still get to face the jury whom will be told you refused blood alcohol testing. The jury can consider your refusal as 'consciousness of guilt'.

I think you would be better served by consulting with an attorney who will defend you on a DUI charge than your brother, the cop.

Pilgrim

DRZinn
October 15, 2005, 12:42 PM
I win either way.Yeah, even if I'm NOT drunk, and just resent the intrusion.

In some states you can refuse the notoriously inaccurate breathalyzer and opt for a blood test given at the station.

patrol120
October 15, 2005, 12:49 PM
In Oklahoma, the test is the Intoxylyzer, unless there are extenuating circumstances, i.e, the machine is broken, the subject is physically unable to blow, etc. If you want a blood test in addition to the Intoxylyzer, you must pay for it out of your own pocket, and submit it to the State's Lab for evaluation.

patrol120
October 15, 2005, 12:52 PM
Yeah, even if I'm NOT drunk, and just resent the intrusion

If youre not drunk, or at least not drinking, you will never see the Intoxylyzer. I can tell by the Field Sobriety Tests if you have been drinking or not. If I am in doubt, you will go free. I would much rather err on the side of a non-arrest than a false arrest. I very well may make you call a friend to come get you, but if I have any doubt, you will not go to jail.

As far as the intrusion, thats covered in the IMPLIED CONSENT laws. By obtaining a Driver License, and driving on the highway, you are required to submit to a chemical test if so ordered by the State. If you dont, you face suspension of your license.

dmallind
October 15, 2005, 01:21 PM
So what happens in a case where a perfectly sober person fails the sobriety tests?

I have no physical disability but I am not the most coordinated or agile of people. I just tried to balance on one leg without wobbling for 30 seconds. In my own house, alone, 36+ hours removed from any (and then little) alcohol. In other words a far lower pressure setting than if pulled over.

Couldn't do it.

I also have to balance myself with my arms when doing a heel-toe walk - another failure sign appraently.

I suspect I can follow a light without turning my head though and I am pretty damn sure I can recite the alphabet any way you want it.

If I have a couple of beers and blow an .03 what happens to me? My driving would be completely unaffected - I am not readily "buzzed" or drunk on low to moderate alcohol intake.

Car Knocker
October 15, 2005, 01:23 PM
Patrol120,

Since we're on this topic, got a question for you. I have sufficient neuropathy in my legs that they have no fine motor response. I can't stand on one foot without falling, can't walk a straight line heel to toe, if I stand with my eyes closed I tend to sway and lose my balance. How would I fare in a field sobriety test? By the way, I'm diabetic and don't drink alcohol at all (there are better carbs to OD on!).

patrol120
October 15, 2005, 01:33 PM
To be honest, the One Leg Stand and the Walk and Turn tests arent anywhere near as accurate as the Horizontal gaze Nystagmus Test. They simply corroborate inability to operate. The very first question I ask when doing Sobriety tests are whether or not you have medical consitions that would prohibit the ability for you to perform these tests.

Like I said, 90% of the Sobriety tests are in the eyes, and you cant fake those. Some people have Distinct Nystagmus naturally, so the officer must take the totality of the circumstances into consideration, i.e, driving behavior, statements made by the subject, etc.

Car Knocker
October 15, 2005, 02:04 PM
OK, thank you.

DRZinn
October 15, 2005, 03:34 PM
If I am in doubt, you will go free. I would much rather err on the side of a non-arrest than a false arrest.I suspect you are in the minority in that. But I commend you for it.

c_yeager
October 15, 2005, 07:52 PM
Actually, Id prefer you refuse the State's Test. Makes for less paperwork for me, and all I have to prove is that you were incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle.

In Oklahoma, the prosecutor can also admit as evidence to the jury that you refused, which makes you look guilty. I win either way.

Remember that statement next time you feel like blaming someone else for the "us vs. them" mentality. Its a game, and your on your own side ;)

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