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1 nines09  Thu, Feb 27, 2014 1:39:25pm

How do you spell “Lawsuit”? Another schmuck with a badge.

2 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Feb 27, 2014 1:42:35pm

The thing is that Austin is a fairly liberal college town. So I don’t think this is so much overt racism as it is a police DERP against someone they didn’t think was important enough to cause them a problem.

3 thecommodore  Thu, Feb 27, 2014 1:51:06pm
The Austin Police Department stands by the arrest, saying they believed Davis showed signs of impairment, that while standing on one leg, he “swayed,” and “needed his arms for balance.”

This is why you should never, ever, take field sobriety tests if you are stopped on suspicion of DUI. There are people who, when being stone cold sober, also happen to have sub par coordination (like your’s truly). Also the portable breath test (called a PAS I think) is so inaccurate it isn’t admissible in court in most states.

So when faced with a police officer trying to determine if you’re under the influence, respond to each and every question by asking if you’re free to go, refuse to take any and all field sobriety tests and/or pre-arrest alcohol screening. You are only required (in most states) to take a breath test only after you have been arrested.

Know your rights. Use them or lose them.

I am not a lawyer, but a I have a lawyer acquaintance in my extended family who told me what I posted above.

4 steve_davis  Thu, Feb 27, 2014 2:12:17pm

re: #3 thecommodore

I’ve listened to audio of someone doing this at a sobriety checkpoint, and remarkably, it did not result in the person being dragged out of the car and beaten. But yes, this is a good point.

5 ausador  Thu, Feb 27, 2014 3:39:44pm

re: #3 thecommodore

In Florida you are indeed allowed to refuse any and all sobriety checks providing that you have not done property damage or injured someone. BUT if you refuse to allow police to test you when they have “reasonable cause” to suspect that you might be impaired then your license will be automatically suspended for one full year.

Not sure how it works anywhere else, but when they toughened the drunken driving laws and blood alcohol limits here they added that to the statutes as well.

So while you may be able to avoid the DUI arrest (and the legal/insurance penalties) if you really are a bit tipsy you can only do so by giving up your license for a year. If you really are sober you can still refuse to do the field tests and demand a certified breathalyser or blood draw test be done instead.

6 Jayleia  Fri, Feb 28, 2014 4:13:46am

*reads and sighs*

Go home Texas, you’re drunk.

7 Aunty Entity Dragon  Fri, Feb 28, 2014 9:52:17am

re: #3 thecommodore

This is why you should never, ever, take field sobriety tests if you are stopped on suspicion of DUI. There are people who, when being stone cold sober, also happen to have sub par coordination (like your’s truly). Also the portable breath test (called a PAS I think) is so inaccurate it isn’t admissible in court in most states.

So when faced with a police officer trying to determine if you’re under the influence, respond to each and every question by asking if you’re free to go, refuse to take any and all field sobriety tests and/or pre-arrest alcohol screening. You are only required (in most states) to take a breath test only after you have been arrested.

Know your rights. Use them or lose them.

I am not a lawyer, but a I have a lawyer acquaintance in my extended family who told me what I posted above.

Keep in mind that in many jurisdictions, possession of a driver’s license constitutes implied consent for a field sobriety test. Refusal to take a test is grounds for immediate revocation of your license.

8 thecommodore  Fri, Feb 28, 2014 10:20:29am

re: #7 Aunty Entity Dragon

Keep in mind that in many jurisdictions, possession of a driver’s license constitutes implied consent for a field sobriety test. Refusal to take a test is grounds for immediate revocation of your license.

I’m not sure about that. The “implied consent” laws definitely apply to agreeing to take a breath test, but only after you have been arrested (unless you’re under age in some states). But as I understand it (again, according to my lawyer acquaintance who has defended DUI cases), there is no other exception to your 4th and 5th amendment rights.

Now a cop may say you are obligated to perform field sobriety tests and the like, but this is false. Cops are, however, allowed to lie in order to get someone to waive their rights. It’s a police tactic that’s as old as the hills.

9 kirkspencer  Fri, Feb 28, 2014 12:51:42pm

re: #8 thecommodore

I’m not sure about that. The “implied consent” laws definitely apply to agreeing to take a breath test, but only after you have been arrested (unless you’re under age in some states). But as I understand it (again, according to my lawyer acquaintance who has defended DUI cases), there is no other exception to your 4th and 5th amendment rights.

Now a cop may say you are obligated to perform field sobriety tests and the like, but this is false. Cops are, however, allowed to lie in order to get someone to waive their rights. It’s a police tactic that’s as old as the hills.

Texas law is that you can say, “No thank you” if asked to take a field sobriety test. The officer cannot make you take one without arresting you. He cannot issue a ticket for refusing.

Be aware, however, that he’s got several nuisance tactics in his arsenal in the event he’s annoyed at having his authority questioned. These include delaying your vehicle by conducting a full safety inspection (can’t get in the vehicle but can make you do the brake and light and all the rest tests) till a dog arrives, then keep you for a dog drug walk-around, then, well, waste your time for hours if he feels like it. And it only takes one slip for him to push it up a notch.

The vast, vast majority will let you go if you refuse. It’s that small portion and the pain they can bring that makes it questionable. At the same time they’re the ones most likely to, well, arrest you for DWI after blowing 0.0%.

10 Amory Blaine  Fri, Feb 28, 2014 1:21:07pm

He could have been butt-chugging.

11 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Feb 28, 2014 6:38:22pm

re: #7 Aunty Entity Dragon

Keep in mind that in many jurisdictions, possession of a driver’s license constitutes implied consent for a field sobriety test. Refusal to take a test is grounds for immediate revocation of your license.

Honestly, then revocation is just what happens in that case. It’s better to lose your driver’s license for six months than to end up with a criminal record.

If a cop is looking to bust you for something, even if you have done nothing wrong you need to be thinking about how the best way to keep the damage down to a minimum. Because if the cop is determined to arrest you, then you’re going to be arrested and its likely just that simple. You need to accept that things are likely to be pretty bad for the immediate future and focus on keeping them from getting worse.


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