Wow. It’s a story like this that really makes you wonder about certain police procedure. I have written blogs in the past about individuals being unlawfully arrested for DWI or other crimes by Texas police. However, this one is so clearly ridiculous, it really makes you question who the police are really looking to protect.
In January of 2013, a man was arrested in Austin for DWI. He passed a blood test and blew a .00% BAC. How does something like this even happen? Larry Davis was initially stopped by Texas law enforcement after he supposedly ran a stop sign in Austin. It seems that officers thought that Davis was acting in an “ intoxicated manner.” They arrested him and took him to jail. It seems that the officers were not convinced that he was safe to drive after observing his attempt at a field sobriety test. According to police reports, Davis “swayed” and “had to use his arms for balance.”
Once at the jail, took a breath test and blew a 0.00% BAC. He then volunteered to take a blood test. Of course, those results are not available immediately, but when they were produced, it was clear that this man was sober. Nevertheless, officers remained convinced that he should not be driving. The officers tried to argue that even though he may not be under the influence of alcohol, his driving could have been impaired due to drug use. They suggested that he could have used marijuana.
Meanwhile, Davis and his attorney went ahead and filed a cause of action against the police department and the specific officer present during the incident.
This seems to be a clear example of improper police procedure. Based on the report, it sounds like the officer had Davis perform a field sobriety test known as the One-Leg Stand. During this test, the driver is told to stand with his arms at his sides while the officer gives the instructions. The officer should show the driver what is expected of him by demonstrating the test.
Once the One-Leg Stand test begins, the driver will stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground while he counts out loud. The counting will begin with one thousand-one and is expected to continue until the driver has reached one thousand-thirty.
During this evaluation, the officer will be looking for signs of impairment. For example, if the driver sways while attempting to balance, this may alert the officer that the driver is intoxicated. Further, if the driver needs to use his arms to keep his balance, the officer will take this to mean that the driver should not be operating a vehicle.
The One-Leg Stand is just one method that is used by officers in Texas in order to judge a driver’s impairment. If you have questions regarding your Dallas DWI charges, give us a call and we can schedule a consultation. I have represented clients who were unjustly accused of criminal offenses and I would be happy to meet with you and discuss the facts of your case.