Homemaker Veers In And Out Of Traffic Lanes, Unable To Keep Balance During Roadside Sobriety Tests


Police observed our client driving in the middle of a highway and cross over the dotted lane dividers. The officer began to follow the vehicle. Our client braked for no apparent reason and moved into the median lane. While in the median lane, she crossed over the dotted lane dividers twice. Based upon this driving pattern, the officer initiated a traffic stop believing that our client was impaired. The officer approached the driver side door and noticed a strong odor of alcohol when he made contact with her. Furthermore, he saw that her eyes were bloodshot and glassy. He asked where she was going, and, in slurred speech, she stated that she was lost. The officer then requested her to step out of the vehicle and to perform roadside sobriety exercises. She eventually agreed. She failed the visual tests. During the Walk and Turn exercise, she swayed, used her arms for balance, and stepped off the line. During the One Leg Stand exercise, she also swayed and had to put her foot down or she would have fallen. The officer twice asked for a breath sample, and she refused on both occasions.

RESULT: Our attorney spent a great deal of time preparing for the formal administrative hearing. She was able to identify several legal and factual deficiencies in the officer’s DUI investigation. First, the attorney questioned whether our client was coerced into performing the roadside sobriety tests because she reluctantly agreed. Second, the attorney concluded that cold weather and a broken neck our client suffered years ago affected her performance on roadside sobriety exercises. Third, the attorney’s research revealed that the police report failed to mention an intoxicated passenger was, in fact, present at the time. This could have explained the odor of alcohol the officer detected. Finally, the attorney knew that the officer had improperly administered the roadside sobriety tests because our client was unable to wear her glasses during the visual test and was startled by the officer while assisting him in laying down tape for the Walk and Turn exercise. Our attorney was more than ready to win this case on the merits! However, when the officer failed to honor our subpoena, she moved to have the suspension lifted for want of prosecution. That motion was GRANTED, resulting in LIFTING OF THE SUSPENSION and FULL REINSTATEMENT OF OUR CLIENT’S DRIVER’S LICENSE!

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