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Old 02-28-2013, 11:39 AM
 
2,295 posts, read 2,369,154 times
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The simplest solution is usually the easiest. Don't drink and drive. It is a completely preventable crime that needlessly puts others in jeopardy due to the irresponsible actions of one driver. Call a friend, call a cab, just too easy to avoid. After living in San Antonio for about three years, I am still shocked at the number of wrong way DUI collisions on the freeways here. Much more than any other metro area I have lived in. (Toledo, Savannah, Louisville, Central Texas, Seattle/Tacoma, and DC).

FWIW, San Antonio has no refusal blood draws 24/7 now if the Transguide signs are to be believed. One more time for the cheap seats, if you will be drinking, don't drive. Have a plan to get home.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
15,269 posts, read 35,637,527 times
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The field sobriety tests are not meant to test coordination or balance - among other things, they test how well you follow instruction, and approximately half the test is the 'stagmus (sp?)' test, where they observe the muscle reactions in your eyes. If you are sober, take the test and save yourself a LOT of trouble.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:00 PM
 
5,758 posts, read 11,636,388 times
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There are many cases of completely sober people being told they "failed" a field sobriety test and being detained. The Lisa Steed scandal in Utah may have included hundreds of false arrests, for example:

FBI email asks for evidence against Utah trooper Lisa Steed

Quote:
Steed and UHP are being sued in federal court by a group of plaintiffs who hope to make the case a class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs allege Steed arrested them, and in some cases they were convicted, despite not being impaired.
People have the misimpression that being sober is enough to convince an officer that you are sober. That's not always true, and a field sobriety test can always be used as evidence against your sobriety, even if you are completely sober. It has happened many times, either out of police incompetence or outright malfeasance.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
15,269 posts, read 35,637,527 times
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Quote:
It has happened many times
How many? Some firm numbers rather than 'is has happened many times'. I am sure it has happened, not saying it has not...but I think the odds are in your favor that, if you are sober, the test will indicated such.

I worked some years back with the Travis County sheriff's dept on sobriety tests. They had a protocol they followed, but mainly to determine if they thought you were a hazard on the road. Most would rather NOT arrest you, due to the extra amount of work it involved, but they did not want an impaired driver allowed to cause an accident. In addition, they were told that the field sobriety test was notoriously weak in court and that a breathalyzer or blood test were preferred if there was any indication that they thought you were impaired. If you did get to court, apparently even half-witted lawyers could get all but the most insane field sobriety tests discredited in a jury trial.

Refusing to take the test will almost certainly cost you many, many hours of your life, not to mention some cash. If you are sober, taking the test will usually end the issue right then. If have a crooked cop, taking or not taking the test is not going to be the issue.....
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
1,518 posts, read 3,056,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
The field sobriety tests are not meant to test coordination or balance - among other things, they test how well you follow instruction, and approximately half the test is the 'stagmus (sp?)' test, where they observe the muscle reactions in your eyes. If you are sober, take the test and save yourself a LOT of trouble.
At this point I'm going to have to ask what makes you more qualified to give legal advice than all the Texas attorneys whose websites say the opposite.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: San Angelo, Texas
795 posts, read 1,585,677 times
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Dumb & Dumber (1/6) Movie CLIP - Urine Trouble (1994) HD - YouTube
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:02 PM
 
5,758 posts, read 11,636,388 times
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Quote:
If you are sober, taking the test will usually end the issue right then.
Let's say it's dark, perhaps raining, and you take a field sobriety test. You are completely sober. But due to nerves or an accident or any number of other things, you happen to stumble or fall.

Now what? You are sober, after all. But you've just provided on-camera evidence of yourself appearing to be in a state of impairment, even though you are not.

Basically, you've screwed yourself.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:06 PM
 
2,206 posts, read 4,748,197 times
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FIL is DPS Trooper and I know a lot of LEOs. They talk about arresting DWIs who refuse tests all the time. And they like doing it because they have seen too many accidents due to drunk driving where some 3 year old girl and her mom are dead due to some drunk.

The officer pulled you over because he had probable cause. He saw you weaving or driving slow or someone called you in. If you smell like you have been drinking and refuse a test, they will probably take you to jail and get a warrant. While some local rural PDs will drive you home and impound your car, the City PDs and DPS will follow the letter of the law.

They can get a warrant in about 15 minutes with one phone call, even in Muleshoe, TX, because the officer has a dispatcher or SO who keeps a list of numbers on speed dial. If you fail the test at the jail, the judge will throw the book at you.

So, don't drink and drive. One drink and that is it.

Now, that being said, I would refuse to let an officer search my person or my car without a warrant. TX has greater restrictions on a Terry Frisk than many other states.

Terry stop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by tablemtn View Post
Let's say it's dark, perhaps raining, and you take a field sobriety test. You are completely sober. But due to nerves or an accident or any number of other things, you happen to stumble or fall.

Now what? You are sober, after all. But you've just provided on-camera evidence of yourself appearing to be in a state of impairment, even though you are not.

Basically, you've screwed yourself.

No, you request a BAC test.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:07 PM
 
8,275 posts, read 7,947,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tablemtn View Post
Let's say it's dark, perhaps raining, and you take a field sobriety test. You are completely sober. But due to nerves or an accident or any number of other things, you happen to stumble or fall.

Now what? You are sober, after all. But you've just provided on-camera evidence of yourself appearing to be in a state of impairment, even though you are not.

Basically, you've screwed yourself.
I do see where the "roadside gymnastics" we hear about on the radio could be a problem. For instance, I could be stone-cold sober and I'm am not certain I could stand on one leg for any length of time. Nor am I confident that I could recite the ABC's in reverse in such a way that would convince the officer I wasn't impaired.

IMO, I think I would ask for a blood draw since breathalyzers can be uncalibrated too.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:21 PM
 
5,758 posts, read 11,636,388 times
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A blood test for alcohol is not comprehensive evidence of non-intoxication, because it only tests for a limited range of intoxicants. But if you stumble during a field sobriety test, you've potentially incriminated yourself for something you weren't doing (driving impaired).
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