What Defense Strategies Can Be Used To Refute Sobriety Test Evidence?
Obviously, if we have video we can show that the officer is fabricating his report. We could also show what the officers say someone did wrong, or where the clues were, and then show all the things that the person did right. For example, on the walk and turn test, the officer will make someone stand with one foot in front of the other, during what’s called the instructional phase, which can go on for minutes while the officer explains the test. Then they will ask the person if they understand these instructions before they will have the person begin the test. They may say that the person stepped off or lost his balance during the instructional phase, or that they did not touch heel to toe on one or two steps, or that they raised their arms more than 6 inches. What we can do is show a jury all the things that this person did right. We can show that the person was able to follow instructions, that they didn’t have to ask for clarification. While the officer may say that the person missed heel to toe on a number of steps, what the officer might not have revealed is that the manual says that you can be a half inch off the heel to toe. We can also point out that out of the 18 steps in the heel to toe test, this person might have missed heel to toe in one step, but the other 17 steps were fine. When you look at the percentage there, that would be a passing grade on pretty much any standardized test. We can show that someone did not fall down, we can show that someone did not start the test too early, we can show that they followed directions, we can show that they made a turn properly, we can show that they counted out loud properly, and anything else they did correctly.
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