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Question for LEO's about a FST

Discussion in 'Donut Shop' started by rotty421, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. rotty421

    rotty421 Member Established Member

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    I am just wondering when it is decided to use a physical FST instead of or in addition to a blood alcohol indicator? (or other scientific test)

    Aren't there instances where this test can be misleading or not applicable? Such as with people with certain medical conditions or physical disabilities that would make them unable to pass such a test at any point in time.

    Since the person's condition would not stop them from getting a driver's license and might not be indicated on their license, how would this situation be handled?

    Thank you for your response


    PS. I have not received a DUI and will never because I don't drive under the influence, just a question about relevance.
     
  2. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer Just a dude with a car Established Member

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    This will be different in each state, but here the the cookie cutter generic explanation:

    1.) SFST, or Standardized Field Sobriety Testing is just that. A standard set of tests, performed in a certain order, under stringent directions that will produce clues. Each test has a certain number of clues, and when a person shows a certain number of clues on each test, scientific studys have shown they have __% Chance of being over a .08 g/210L breath or .08 g/100mL of blood. When combined, SFST are 80% accurate with no other observations of the subject being tested(Breath Smell, Speech, Admissions, Driving Behavior).

    This is why SFST are so powerful in court when performed correctly.

    2. Most states have a statutory limit was what "intoxicated" is. In WI if you are over a .08, you are intoxicated. However, you do get people that fail the SFST's miserably and are only a .06 or .05. They are "intoxicated" at a much lower B.A.C.
    This is why there are two citations in WI for DUI. One is for operating while intoxicated, the other is Operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration. Most of the times a person who is arrested for OWI has a prohibited BAC as well and the DA will dimiss the Operating while intoxicated charge, when Probable cause for the arrest has been made in court. The blood results are all but ensure a conviction.

    3. The only test that can be flawed by a medical condition is the HGN( Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus). There is a very small portion of the population with a natural Nystagmus while their eyes are at rest. The majority of people do not have it and the other things that cause it are not practical in a DUI enviorment.(Caloric, Rotatitional, Head Trauma, etc)
    Officer are trained to observe these medical conditions prior to the test as a requirement to get certified in SFST's.

    The only other medical condition are physical, such as walking. If you can't stand, walk, etc... SFST's are difficult. But the HGN is the most accurate and as mentioned can be done on 99% of the willing population.

    4. Most states do not allow PBT(Preliminary Breath Tests a/k/a Portable Breath Tests) as evidence for a DUI. This is due to the fact the device is calibrated, but not to the same standards as an Intoxilizer or a like macheine. They can be used for probable cause, but if I were to walk into court and say "I had the defendant blow into my PBT and it recorded a value of .17 so I arrested him for OWI/PAC, I would get laughed out of court."


    Sorry for getting long winded, but I hope that answers your questions. And as you can tell, I really like DUI enforcement/laws.... Now I just need to get DRE certified.
     
  3. rotty421

    rotty421 Member Established Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    The reason I ask is because I have a friend who was involved in a major car accident and sufferred head trauma. As a result she has diminished motor skills and balance. She could not walk heel to toe on a line and may sound impared due to slurred speech but no other signs of disability. In the right light she could appear to be impared but is still a smart woman.
     
  4. type911

    type911 Heave To.... Established Member

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    Just to throw this out there. I am a Boarding officer for the US Coast Guard. At sea we still administer an afloat battery FST and then an ashore battery. One thing I have to take into consideration is how long has the person been underway. You get whats called sea legs. So on pavement a person actualy has a hard time walking, turning and balance. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is always the best bet for me to determine someones BAC. I have also run accross people that were borderline heat stroke and exhibited signs of intoxication but were really in medical distress. Diabetics can have issues as well if their blood sugar is low. The truth is there are many ailments a person may have that can effect an FST. I also only administer the portions of the FST that I myself can do. I never administer the Alphabet backwords test because I myself have a hard time. Instead I administer the, Recite the Alphabet without singing test.
     
  5. FNsweetS3

    FNsweetS3 Crazy Gun Bunny!!! Established Member

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    I used HGN first (when it is cold.... this is the only thing before a PBT) if they can't do that... then I will run them through the other drunk olympic events.

    I used to use the one leg stand... then had someone fall backwards.. split their head open... then they sued me (even though they had a BAC of .22 from a blood draw).
     
  6. FordSVTFan

    FordSVTFan Oh, the humanity of it all. Established Member

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    But there isnt a single neurologic injury that will give false positives for every part of the FST. Especially the pungent odor of alcohol. That person should get a certification from the DMV to carry in their car. But depending on the neural injury and deficits, the person can have impairments that will hinder their ability to drive appropriately and that is no defense.
     
  7. kwwhite1

    kwwhite1 New Member Established Member

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    HGN is the best FST out there slong with walking nine and one leg stand. they are the only three that are scientifically validated and taught at the new calidornia DUI schools. HGN prior to 45degrees is pretty much a guaranteed .08 or great. I had one two weeks ago and the guy PAS'd a .378 and on the intoxilyzer he blew a .34, the crazy part is he did perfect on every FST other than HGN.
     
  8. ThrashN

    ThrashN Do What? Established Member

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    what is HGN?
     
  9. FordSVTFan

    FordSVTFan Oh, the humanity of it all. Established Member

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    Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test.
     
  10. ThrashN

    ThrashN Do What? Established Member

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    Thank you
     
  11. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer Just a dude with a car Established Member

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    It was in my original post. I gues you misses it.
     
  12. ThrashN

    ThrashN Do What? Established Member

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    Yep, I sure did. I went back and reread your post.
     
  13. DuffManRHA

    DuffManRHA The cake is not a lie. Established Member

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    not sure how it is in other states, but in California you are not required to comply with a field sobriety test and can simply state to the officer that you are aware of this fact and if they feel they have probable cause and would like to conduct a urine/breath/blood test they may do so (since this is all that is required when you sign up for your license).

    i am of course not advocating driving drunk, but check out the laws where you live so if your friend gets pulled over she can just ask for a breathalyzer and be on her way

    Eric
     
  14. jimljr145

    jimljr145 Jimljr145 Established Member

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    In NJ, when you get your priveleges to drive in this state, you, per
    Title 39:4-50.2(a)- Any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road, street, or highway or quasi-public area in this state shall be deemed to have given his (her) consent to the taking of samples of breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in his (her) blood; provided, however, that the taking of samples is made in accordance with the provisions of this act and at the request of a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that such person has been operating a motor vehicle in violation of the provisions of R.S. 39:4-50.

    39:4-50- A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood or permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him (her) or in his (her) custody or control or permits another to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more by weight or alcohol in the defendant's blood shall be subject:
    (Then a list of numerous fines, penalties, jail time, ect...)

    We don't have the roadside breathalizer here, instead, we need to find probable cause that you are operating your vehicle under the influence, then, since you are operating your vehicle here in this state, you have given complied consent, and therefore, if we find probable cause that you are intoxicated (by alcohol, drugs, whatever), you must submit to standardized field sobriety tests. If you refuse, the outcome will most likely be the same regardless... Arrest, court, loss of license, increased insurance, all the good stuff. Just don't do it, and you won't have anything to worry about..
     
  15. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer Just a dude with a car Established Member

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    That's a quick way to get tossed into the pokey as well. The SFST's are a way to determine if you are intoxicated. If you refuse, you go off of driving behavior and I will arrrest you.

    When you get to court, how are you going to say that you were not intoxicated?? Can you say, "I passed the tests the officer gave". No.... because you refused. Even if your blood comes back under the limit, you can still get convicted of DUI.
     
  16. FlTireGuy

    FlTireGuy New Member Established Member

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    Unless the laws have changed since I was a LEO in NJ (14 years ago), you do NOT have to submit to a FST. However, refusal will almost always end up with a trip to the intoxilyzer. Note the wording of the statue that you have cited makes no mention of a FST, merely chemical tests.

    Also, FYI, it is implied consent, not complied consent!

     
  17. Mt Twigbert

    Mt Twigbert Member Established Member

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    Hmmmm... Thats food for thought... What was the end result of the lawsuit?
     
  18. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer Just a dude with a car Established Member

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    Tough..... The One Leg Stand is a part of the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, if you take that test out and substitute another.... it's no longer standardized. None of us want to hurt anyone, but if they are that pissed up that they can't think to put their foot down and were behind the wheel... maybe they need a selfinduced painful reminder.
     

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