Frequently Asked Question #44:
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) are psychophysical tests used to assess a person’s physical and/or mental impairment. These tests focus on the abilities needed for safe driving. Most of the more reliable…
Alcohol is a general term denoting a family of organic chemicals with common properties. Members of this family include ethanol, methanol, isopropanol and others. This introduction discusses the physical, chemical and physiological aspects of the most commonly ingested of…
Alcohol is absorbed from all parts of the gastrointestinal tract largely by simple diffusion into the blood. However the small intestine is by far the most efficient region of the gastrointestinal tract for alcohol absorption because of its very large surface area. In a fasting…
Standardized field sobriety tests are divided attention tests, meaning that if there is a problem that is affecting the driver’s ability to concentrate, it will also affect how he or she performs on the test. What could affect a person’s concentration more than the flashing lights of a police car in the middle of the night while attempting to walk in a straight line. This does not even take into account that some people cannot and should not be screened by standardized field sobriety tests because they would find these tests difficult to pass even under ideal conditions. Police officers are not scientists. As such we see scientific gains stymied by human error or incompetence when it comes to the administration of standardized field sobriety tests. It is vital that your DUI defense attorney understand and implement the latest science in your defense.
Alcohol Content of Some Typical Drinks
Drink Alcohol Content Manhattan Dry 1.15 oz. (34 ml) Martini 1.00 oz. (30 ml) MartiniMalt liquor -12 oz. (355 ml) 0.71 oz. (21 ml) Airline miniature 0.70 oz. (21 ml) Whiskey Sour/Highball 0.60 oz. (18 ml) Table Wine -…
This is a pretty helpful infographic, but like most “know your rights” information out there, it raises more questions than it answers.
Generally speaking, I tell clients, friends and family that in a police encounter the best thing to do is be respectful and truthful. If you don’t feel like you can tell the truth without getting into trouble or arousing further suspicion, ask if you are free to leave, and if you are told you are not free to leave, inform the officer that you will not be answering any more questions until you have spoken with an attorney. Then just stand your ground, continue to be respectful and polite but don’t say anything more.
"I’m sorry, officer, I don’t consent to searches," is a great phrase to have in your back pocket. And you guys — don’t consent to searches. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide.
THE DEFENDANT IS A LESBIAN; THIS SHOWS SHE MOLESTED THE FEMALE VICTIM
This defendant, a woman, was charged with molesting the 11-year old girl she was babysitting. The DA kept trying to get into evidence that the defendant was a lesbian. Although most of the evidence was excluded, in final argument the DA argued that because the defendant is a lesbian, she is attracted to women, and the jury could consider that in determining motive. Here’s what the DA argued: “[Appellant’s] attracted to women? Okay? She has the motive.  I’m not saying that everyone who’s attracted to women is going to attack children or going to molest children, but we know that she is attracted to females, and [A.G.] is a female child.” The DA also argued that the defendant’s sexual orientation was “absolutely relevant” to the charges. The C/A is outraged and reverses for prosecutorial misconduct; sexual orientation is not relevant to any issue in this case. “Due process and the interests of fairness dictate that appellant be judged by what she did, not who she is. Nothing less will do.”
People v. Garcia; G048020; 8/28/14; C/A 4th, Div. 3
In 2014, in Riley v. Cal. (134 S.Ct. 2473), the US Supremes unanimously held that “absent an emergency, law enforcement must secure a warrant before searching the digital content of a cell phone incident to an arrest.” Yay. Of course, in 2011, the Cal. Supremes had ruled that no warrant was required to search a cell phone seized incident to an arrest, in Diaz (51 C4th 84). This C/A rules that the police searched the cell phone here in good faith reliance on Diaz, since the search was after Diaz and before Riley. I’m getting lots of calls on this issue. Our argument here has to be that Diaz was wrong as a matter of federal constitutional law, so wrong that it couldn’t be relied on by the police in good faith. The arrest of the defendant was improper under the Vehicle Code. The C/A rules that the illegality of the arrest doesn’t require suppression of evidence found in the resulting search. They rely on that horrible McKay (27 C4th 601) case, which says that so long as the defendant did in fact violate the Vehicle Code, violation of the limitation on arresting the defendant for that offense doesn’t require suppression. So let’s review: the arrest was illegal and the search was illegal. But the evidence comes in anyway.
People v. Macabeo; B248316; 9/3/14; C/A 2nd, Div. 5
" Earlier this year, a study from researchers Scott Cunningham and Manisha Shah showed that in 2004-2009, Rhode Island experienced a steep decline in cases of rape and gonorrhea. The authors attribute this to the fact that prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island during this time period….