Archive for the ‘Field Sobriety Tests’ Category
October 9th, 2014 at 7:32 pm
Driving under the influence (DUI) cases are some of the more common cases in criminal court. While many cases may be relatively straightforward, there are certain issues that can pop up concerning police procedure in bringing these charges. Of course, each criminal case involving a DUI or other criminal charges should be evaluated in light of the particular facts surrounding the case in order to determine any issues present, as well as options the specific defendant has in addressing the charges.
One such issue that may become relevant in a DUI case is the context in which the defendant was pulled over. Some of those charged with DUI may be observed to be driving in a reckless manner by law enforcement; others may have committed a traffic infraction giving the officer pretext for the stop. Still others may have been charged with a DUI as the result of passing through a DUI checkpoint. A recent report looks at DUI checkpoints and the potential legal issues that result from them in some states, including Illinois.
In some states across the country, including Illinois, law enforcement officials are allowed to conduct what are known as “no-refusal” DUI checkpoints. While the legality of DUI checkpoints in general has been established for quite some time, these specific types of checkpoints are raising concerns in states that conduct them. No-refusal checkpoints involve ordering drivers who are suspected of DUI to submit to a blood test if they first refuse a standard field sobriety test.
The blood test is generally conducted after probable cause for commission of the crime is found, but some defense attorneys are saying the procedure is just a way to get around other laws in place. One problem is that the search warrants claiming probable cause to administer a blood test against the person’s wishes are reportedly mass-produced, something that goes against the general requirements of specificity and narrow scope that such documents should have. At least 30 states, counting Illinois, either have conducted no-refusal initiatives, or have the authority to do so.
On the other hand, law enforcement officials cite staggering statistics about drunk drivers and the need to get them off the road as support for no-refusal initiatives. They say that no-refusal checkpoints do not use procedure that is any different than what would otherwise be used in a DUI stop. In some states, the only difference would be the site at which the blood is drawn – normally, suspects are taken to a hospital for a blood draw after a warrant is issued for the test, while during no-refusal initiatives, there may be nurses at a jail to draw blood there. It is notable that in some states, law enforcement and judges have declined to take part in no-refusal initiative because of concerns over their legality.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation.
March 26th, 2012 at 6:50 pm
The so-called “Walk and Turn Test” is a common field sobriety test that Chicago law enforcement officers routinely use to detect whether a suspected drunk driver is intoxicated. This is a standardized test that the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration has approved for such use. Depending on the results of the test, a driver could be charged with a DUI.
The first part of the walk and turn test requires the driver to stand heel-to-toe while listening to instructions from the officer regarding the rest of the test. The driver must balance in an awkward position while still listening to detailed instructions. Next, the driver must take nine steps forward on a real or imaginary line, and then nine steps back to the original position. The driver must take the steps heel-to-toe, and then turn by pivoting on one foot. Additionally, the driver must keep his or her hands at his or her side and count the steps out loud.
This sobriety test gives police officers certain clues showing whether someone is driving drunk. If a driver cannot keep his or her balance while listening to the instructions, stops or cannot keep his or her balance while walking, starts walking before the instructions are finished, or takes the incorrect number of steps, the officer will assign one point to each action taken by the driver during the test. Likewise, if the driver cannot walk heel-to-toe, uses his or her arms for balance, steps off the line, or simply cannot do the test, the officer can assign a point to the driver. If officer who pulled the driver over for suspected drunk driving assigns the driver two or more points to the driver as a result of his test performance, then the driver has failed the test and will likely be arrested on DUI charges.
If you have failed a walk and turn test, or other field sobriety tests in the Chicago area , and, as a result, have been arrested for DUI, you will need an experienced Elk Grove DUI lawyer to assist you. A top Elk Grove, Illinois, DUI defense attorney today may be able to get your DUI charges dropped, or, if that’s not possible, work to get you the least sentence possible for your drunk driving arrest.