News & Wins

Union Carpenter’s License Saved After Blowing .171 at Checkpoint 

By Denise L. Childress

56 year old union carpenter stopped at DWI checkpoint. Officer reported strong odor of intoxicants, bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech, swaying, and failure of field sobriety tests. Client arrested and blew into breath testing instrument with reading of .171.

RESULT: Hearing officer held that client’s arrest was made without probable cause to arrest and set aside the administrative license suspension.

How did we do it? The arresting officer was subpoenaed to appear at the administrative hearing. During cross-examination, Mr. Ward established that: (1) his client had no general balance issues; (2) the officer could not recall if the client slurred a single word or all of them; (3) the officer was unfamiliar with, and improperly administered, the HGN test; (4) the officer failed to properly instruct on how to perform the walk and turn test; (5) the officer failed to properly instruct on how to perform the one leg stand test; and (6) his client was more than 50 pounds overweight and not a candidate for either of the balance tests.

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