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  1. #76
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    I love how CIVS think that if they don't blow, they won't get convicted. How do you think that looks in court. Usually, the innocent have no problem cooperating. Those damn attorneys!!

  2. #77
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    Interesting Discussion and I would like to add my two cents to the forum. I was recently a defendant in the state of Florida charged with DUI. I was arrested because a sheriffs deputy decided I did not perform FSE's properly. I was placed under arrest prior to any chemical tests. When I was able to perform a chemical test I had a BAC under .02. I spent the night in jail and the state took my case to court. Even though I took the states chemical test we were never permitted to use those results in court.

    The state of Florida attempted to try me on the fact that "my normal faculties" were impaired. I was able to win the case because of inconsistencies in the police report and the officers testimony not because of the passed chemical test.

    I can say from first hand experience that there needs to be no chemical or blood tests and even if there is a passing one involved you can still fight for the conviction.

  3. #78
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    On more than a few occasions I have gone ahead and made the arrest despite a lower than 0.08 BAC. As the defense attorneys are so fond of pointing out, the breath test is simply one piece of evidence in the 'totality of circumstance' which leads the officer to form an opinion as to the driver's impairment. The Tennessee State Troopers routinely arrest despite whatever the BAC shows. Under TN law, if you consent to the breath test there is nothing that says you have to take any additional tests. But if I form an opinion you also have other substances such as illegal narcotics or prescription medications in your blood in addition to alcohol which is in fact impairing your ability to drive, then a conviction is certainly possible.

    CHP Marine, as a DUI officer, I can tell you I sure wish we had your state's laws.

  4. #79
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    Drunkcop,
    This is such an interesting discussion and your response kind of surprised me. You mentioned that if you form the opinion that there may be other substances besides alchohol a conviction is likely to result. Are you giving the defendants a test to prove your theroy or are you attempting to go to court on your opinion?

    I know in the state of Florida the arresting officer must prove your normal faculties are impaired if you test below the limit. This can be a very difficult task for the arresting officer because in all liklihood the officer never met the defendant until that time and how would he know what is "normal" by that person if they never met.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConcernedCitize
    Drunkcop,
    This is such an interesting discussion and your response kind of surprised me. You mentioned that if you form the opinion that there may be other substances besides alchohol a conviction is likely to result. Are you giving the defendants a test to prove your theroy or are you attempting to go to court on your opinion?

    I know in the state of Florida the arresting officer must prove your normal faculties are impaired if you test below the limit. This can be a very difficult task for the arresting officer because in all liklihood the officer never met the defendant until that time and how would he know what is "normal" by that person if they never met.

    No, I said a conviction is certainly POSSIBLE. If a defendant registers below the legal limit for BAC, BUT his performance on the Field Sobriety Tests and any other observations I make concerning his faculites indicate to me that he is impaired for some other reason such as narcotics, then the arrest is justified. In TN (and most other states I believe) even being under the influence of your own prescription drugs will get you a ride if you are impaired as a result of those drugs. The substance isn't the issue, it's your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

    Absent of the instrument test, you are correct in that I would have to have a substantial amount of other eveidence that you were impaired. But in my state an officer cannot ask for a breath test unless there is reasonable suspicion that the subject is under the influence. Remember, DUI arrests were made long before there were electronic instruments available. The breath instrument is a tool, but my well articulated opinion based on my observations, training and experience is a huge part of the case. Add that to FST evidence (on video) and sometimes the breath test becomes unnecessary.

    As far as the 'normal behavior' of a subject is concerned, I've had this one tried on me before. It doesn't seem to work with our courts for a couple of reasons. Just as you say I have no basis for the subjects baseline normal behavior, the courts hold that I can use society's 'normal' behavior as a baseline since I do not know the defendant personally. If the defendant on the scene could not remember where he was going or where he was coming from, but can recall it perfectly in court, are we to believe he suddenly became smart or that he was temporarily stupid on the scene, possibly from some substance in his bloodstream ? Or that "You F***** cop" on the scene becomes 'Yes, officer' in court?

    ...and unless the defendant shows up in court smelling like beer, staggering, and with slurred speech, the judge and jury are going to conclude that his behavior in court is his 'normal', not what they see on the video and hear from my testimony.

    Attorneys try to challenge officer's training as a matter of routine. It's the department's resposibility to make sure all those training records are in order. As a DUI officer, I have had specialized training and we have an officer who is the keeper of records and can produce our entire training record whenever asked.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackscrow
    statements like this really make me wonder whether or not some LEOs actually understand the reasons why our country has that little thing called civil rights....

    i understand that LEOs have to put up with a lot.... drunks, druggies, stupid people, never exactly knowing when violence might happen in the context of their jobs....

    fortunately, the right to refuse exists.

    think about all the carry over into other parts of our lives if these rights were
    not protected by our wonderful Constitution. and if we didn't have people who stand up for individual liberty.

    and it's a sad thing to think that sometimes lawyers are the only thing that stand between innocent people being run over by a system that through the attitude of some of its SERVANTS lends itself to automatic presumption of guilt.

    I would bet 111's comments are born out of frustration with the citizens and lawyers who try and work the system.

    The other innocent people out there also have civil rights. It's also a sad thing when lawyers pervert the system and twist the Consitution to allow a guilty person to go free. Cops DO stand up for individual liberty, and if you threaten the liberty of others in this world you are going to have to deal with us.

    Yes, you have the right to refuse and take the resulting charge. But, he's exactly right. If you have nothing to hide, why refuse? The fact is, most people who refuse do so because a lawyer somewhere told them to refuse, because it's easier to muddy the waters when the printout isn't sitting there as Exhibit A for the prosecution. Read my reply to Concerned Citizen. A DUI stop done correctly makes the breath test readout a lot less important. Refusal adds to your impression of guilt, and if I present adequate evidece other than that test you will be convicted.

  7. #82
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    Drunkcop, Are you running a chemical test on those you arrest that you suspect are under the influence of drugs???? I am sure you have been doing your job for a long time and have made hundreds if not thousands of DUI arrests. Was there ever a time you felt you were wrong after making the arrest and how did you handle it?

    Again I find this to be a very interesting discussion

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackscrow
    "
    I still have a sour spot for traffic enforcement, though. I honestly think that LEOs should spend less time generating revenue and more time hunting the bad guys.
    Our job is to protect the public. The DUI who wipes out a family on the way back from a picnic IS a bad guy. You're barkin' up the wrong tree, pal.

    Me wonders about your attitude when you got stopped. Eh?

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConcernedCitize
    Drunkcop, Are you running a chemical test on those you arrest that you suspect are under the influence of drugs???? I am sure you have been doing your job for a long time and have made hundreds if not thousands of DUI arrests. Was there ever a time you felt you were wrong after making the arrest and how did you handle it?

    Again I find this to be a very interesting discussion

    Yes, if I suspect drugs and not alcohol, and it's MY choice. In TN, anyone who drives on the public roads has given thier implied consent to take ONE chemical test if the officer has reasonable suspicion they are DUI. We either give a breath, blood, or urine test. Breath and urine can be done at the scene, so blood is rarely done unless there is a serious accident. Blood can be screened for both drugs and alcohol. So, based on my observations I ask for whichever test I think is appropriate. If you refuse, there is an additional charge, and it does NOT get you out of the DUI charge (see the previous post). However, if you blow .000 and I later found drugs in the car, I can ask you for a urine sample but cannot charge you with refusal if you will not consent to the 2nd test. So, yes there is somewhat of a skill in choosing the right test, especially if the driver is under the influence of more than one substance. And I might add the field tests of urine are not admitted as evidence at trial. They are only probable cause. Positive field test samples are sent to the TBI for laboratory analysis. The lab results are admissible in court.

    Now, as to your question, No I have never regretted an arrest on those grounds. What you may not realize is that we release many individuals after a negative chemical test and if they have done marginal on the FST's. There are many times I have had reasonable suspicion to go ahead with the chemical test, but the results of that test plus the marginal performance on the FSTs did not in my opinion add up to 'probable cause' to arrest. Our SOP says that if the officer feels there is not enough evidence to sustain the conviction and the driver does not appear to be a danger, then the individual can be released.

    What I do feel bad about is those individuals who are just having a string of bad luck. Arresting the guy who is going through marital problems, just lost his job, AND gets busted for DUI isn't my idea of a good time. But that doesn't mean I let him go if he's impaired. I won't take him home, either. I am usually not talkative to my defendants, but guys like those I try to listen a bit and see if I can offer up any encouragement.

    DUI's with kids in the car get NO slack from me, and the child endangerment charge is a given on my scenes. But one of the toughest things in the world is to arrest Daddy in front of a child, especially if there's no one to come and get him or her, and DHS has to do it. I give them stuffed toys. I've had grandparents, etc take the toys away from the child and throw them at me screaming. Try taking that home with you at night.

    BTW I appreciate your intelligent discussion.

  10. #85
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    Drunkcop,
    Thank you for your response. I am glad to know that you are able to do the right thing and release when someone is not impaired or are not any danger once the tests are completed.

    If I had you as the deputy who pulled me over back in April 2005 I would have been sleeping in my own bed and not the Orange County Jail. I never felt so dis-respected in my life before that night. I had to receive verbal jabs from at least 20 other sherrifs deputies who would come through the DUI center and get in my face about drinking and driving like they were better than me. I was the one guy who was honestly telling the truth that I was not drinking or using drugs and my tests proved that yet I was still treated like one of those dinks who was. I am pretty certain this deputy had his mind made up when he pulled me over that he was going to arrest me and I have a pretty good hunch on why he did it as well.

    The scariest part about the entire episode was when I found out that none of my chemical tests were permitted to be used as evidence. The prosecution used what DUI defense attorneys do all the time to get chemical tests thrown out, they complained about the maintenance of their own machines. The deputy did not have a camera installed in his patrol car so I felt really screwed.

    What this guy was not counting on was arresting me. He thought "what is this 26 year old kid going to do?". I spent day and night researching my case and DUI case study law in an effort to clear my name. I had a great defense attorney who made the arresting officer look very bad, and had another officer say he doubted my impairment. The jury was great and at the end of the day justice was served all except for the fact that this deputy is still out on the streets doing to someone else what he did to me.

  11. #86
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    [QUOTE=jackscrow]statements like this really make me wonder whether or not some LEOs actually understand the reasons why our country has that little thing called civil rights....

    statements like this make me wonder if some people are so smart they are dumb, did he say that people should not have the right to refuse the state's test. NOOOOOO. he said that it is funny how some people think that IF THEY REFUSE THEY CAN NOT GET CONVICTED. jeeezzz, you talk about peoples spelling in here, what about your reading & comprehension skills.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackscrow

    Since then I have become acquainted with many officers, and I have a deep respect for the guys who go into places like the projects at Windsor Terrace, here in Columbus, and try to keep the peace and get the bad guys.

    I still have a sour spot for traffic enforcement, though. I honestly think that LEOs should spend less time generating revenue and more time hunting the bad guys.

    than a cruiser patrolling the alleys at night in my parent's Lancaster neighborhood, keeping the young vandals who roam those alleys away.

    And that's a shame.
    spoken like a true rich ***** who thinks that only the poor are bad, talk about a civil rights violation, last time i checked the rich steal, kill, and yes drive drunk. Do bad people not drive cars? How else are they supposed to arrest people for trafficing drugs, driving drunk, transporting all the stolen property from the rich peoples houses. but then again, i guess you are right, officers write an *** load of tickets so that the city mayor can give himself a raise, and a new company car, but yet still, the officers dont get a pay raise from it, so yea, i see your point, dork! you are so narrow minded that you obviously think only the rich deserve protecting, and here is a new flash, just because you happen to know the names of some officers in your "hood", doesnt mean you know dick about an officers job. just because you can read some legal breif books doesnt make you educated at what officers are trying to accomplish when they work. i get the impression that you think that if it is not happening in your "hood", then it is not important, screw everyone else, yea i can see where you are concerned about the rights of others.

  13. #88
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    busted, oop, ya got me,,dang, i knew you were smart ???????, read past post here and in speed traps, been trying to explain all along, but narrow mind hampers the ability to understand,

  14. #89
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    i prefer csi and reno 911, its much gooder.. but i will sleep better knowing that you are pulling for me.

  15. #90
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    how else will i gets me edukachuun. *by the way, i dont think that is a reality show, no one wins $* (im glad you're back, it was slow w/o ya)

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUI_eliminator
    I thought you were from Orange County California. I read some of your posts and it looks like you are from Florida. I work on a DUI team in Orange County California. I have had drivers perform terribly on FST's and blow low on breath tests. If I think they are under the combined influence I have them take a blood test or urine test. In Orange County Ca. if the driver takes a blood test and the result is under .08% the crime lab automatically tests for drugs.

    On rare occasion I have seen other officers release drivers on what called an 849(b)(1). This basically states that you were arrested for the indicated charge but after further investigation you are being released and it will not appear on your criminal record.

    Here in Tennessee, we have budget cuts. If we have a sample which we want tested for both alcohol and drugs we have to have a supervisor's approval because the state charges more for combined analysis.

    We don't have a number for your 849, we just call it 'released without charge'

    Citizen, you apparently had a bad experience. We're not all perfect. Just me and my partner.

  17. #92
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    drunkcop, can you not request both breath and blood, ie low blow on toxilyzer but sfst was really poor, so request blood. and do you guys have a D.R.E.

  18. #93
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    jackscrow, before we both get banished, you got under my skin being narrow minded, my bad, i still think you are narrow minded, your original post was that if an officer is working traffic, he is only after money, you could not be more wrong, i dont know how many people here have tried to explain that to you, but hey its your opinion (yes you have civil rights), so enjoy it! see ya bubba........

  19. #94
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    Drunkcop and DUI Eliminator,
    I have learned even more from your responses but it makes me question the law here in Florida even more.

    Yes to answer your question I am in Orange County Florida and you may have heard that this department already has a major credibility issue. It is a shame because I would like to think that most of the deputies out there are doing what is necessary for their job. Every week the sheriff is under investigation for something. The sheriffs poor ethics combined with Sgt's and Lt's getting arrested for evidence tampering does not help the issue.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackscrow
    It just seems to me that I'm much more likely to see a motorcyle cop with radar hiding behind the Dairy Queen, than a cruiser patrolling the alleys at night in my parent's Lancaster neighborhood, keeping the young vandals who roam those alleys away.

    And that's a shame.
    The serial killer Son of Sam was caught as a result of a traffic ticket. Many major felons are caught as a result of traffic enforcement.
    Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

  21. #96
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    Does anyone seriously think that the world would be a better place if police were not out enforcing motor vehicle statutes?
    Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotthblues
    drunkcop, can you not request both breath and blood, ie low blow on toxilyzer but sfst was really poor, so request blood. and do you guys have a D.R.E.
    We can request, but once the def has given consent for one test he is not requried to give consent for another. But our FSTs are always on video. There have been many convictions despite a low instrument reading.

    The way around that is to request blood every time, but there is a delay in the results and it costs more $$. We typically only do blood in the case of an accident. Blood still falls under the implied consent law, and they can refuse except in the case of serious injury or fatalities. Then we must get a subpoena.
    Last edited by Drunkcop; 08-04-2005 at 01:09 PM.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlCop
    The serial killer Son of Sam was caught as a result of a traffic ticket. Many major felons are caught as a result of traffic enforcement.
    Excellent point. Also the fact that all DUI arrests start with a traffic stop.

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunkcop
    We can request, but once the def has given consent for one test he is not requried to give consent for another. But our FSTs are always on video. There have been many convictions despite a low instrument reading.

    The way around that is to request blood every time, but there is a delay in the results and it costs more $$. We typically only do blood in the case of an accident. Blood still falls under the implied consent law, and they can refuse except in the case of serious injury or fatalities. Then we must get a subpoena.
    dang, that sucks, we could do breath then blood, they gave implied consent to both. i had gotten several that way, have the odor, poor sfst, only blow a 3 or 4, doesnt make sense for level of impairment, i ask for blood, comes back with zanax, valium, so on. if they give breath, but we want blood, and they refuse, its still a refusal. i love the camera, several at my old dept. hated it, but i loved it, especially on a dui arrest.

  25. #100
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    It's been tough and slow to get DUI laws passed in TN. We've only had .08 for a couple of years. The state made a lousy case on HGN a few years ago, and it's inadmissable in court. There are a couple of distilleries in middle TN, and they have a good Nashville lobby as well.

    But we do OK. The camera is our friend.

    The 6 stages of a DUI:

    Denial
    Slight admission (OK, two beers)
    Anger
    Let's Make a Deal
    Full admission
    Remorse (usually happens in the jail intake driveway)
    Last edited by Drunkcop; 08-04-2005 at 09:42 PM.

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