Archive for the ‘Field Sobriety Tests’ Category
October 4th, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Dana Holmes, 33, filed a federal lawsuit against LaSalle County “after a video from the county jail’s security system showed her face down on the floor of her cell stripped nude,” according to CBS Local News. Holmes was brought to the county jail after being arrested for DUI in May. She had a blood alcohol level at the time of arrest three times the legal limit, which is .08. Her lawsuit, filed at the beginning of October, “claims the video also shows four deputies, three men and woman, pulling her to the floor, carrying her into a cell where they quickly and with great force stripped Holmes and walked out with her clothing,” according to CBS.
The lawsuit is being brought against the county because Holmes sees no reason for being stripped. Illinois state law clearly states, according to CBS, that “police can only do strip searches if they have reason to believe suspects have weapons or a controlled substance.” While Holmes was driving impaired, she was not found to be in possession of either weapons or substances. The law also states that only a person of the same sex can perform strip searches if deemed necessary, which was not the case in Holmes’s incident. The video that Holmes’s attorney provided to CBS “shows Holmes rocking a bit, but it is hard to detect any violence,” the station reports. Yet the video is clear that all four deputies were responsible for carrying the intoxicated woman into a padded cell and stripped her naked of all her clothes, including her underwear.
It’s not just Illinois state law that prevents law enforcement agents from performing unauthorized strip searches. According to the AELE Law Enforcement Legal Center, the basis for most law suits involving illegitimate strip searches is the Civil Rights Act of 1871. “Through this statute, a plaintiff claims the search violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free form ‘unreasonable’ searches,” reports AELE. When CBS attempted to contact the LaSalle County Sheriff for comment, the office replied that it could not give any input since the lawsuit had been filed.
August 22nd, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Law enforcement in the state of Arkansas now have another way to potentially determine whether a person is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law allowing these tests was approved in March but took effect on July 17th.
A Lieutenant in the Sebastian County Sheriff’s department took the lead on making this test available in Arkansas. Allan Marx said he became familiar with the opportunities in saliva testing while working on a case in the previous year and realized that it might help in cases within the state, allowing officers now to test urine, blood, and breath. From there, a person might be charged with a DUI and need to hire an attorney.
A driver might be subjected in Arkansas to a saliva test after he or she has failed the sobriety test. The tests are designed to detect ketamine, marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, oxycodone, opiates, phencyclidine, propoxyphene, and alcohol. There are challenges with this new test, however. The saliva test is not always accurate, only providing complete results 94-99% of the time, a loophole which could create challenges for some individuals taking the test. Since a positive saliva test can serve as the basis for an arrest, individuals who are not guilty of exceeding legal limits or using drugs may be charged anyway.
The tests are being purchased with taxpayer money, which raises concerns about their close, but not perfect, accuracy rate. Officers and supporters of the law claim that the saliva tests are more cost-effective when compared with blood tests. Evidence collection in a DUI arrest determination and the resulting case can be extremely important for the charged individual. If testing is faulty or the evidence was not collected properly, an innocent person could find himself or herself in a world of trouble for doing absolutely nothing wrong. That’s where a competent DUI attorney steps into the picture to ensure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact an Illinois DUI lawyer today to discuss your case.
July 26th, 2013 at 10:56 am
This post is not a lesson on how to get away with a DUI. Drinking and driving is dangerous and unnecessary. The cost of hiring a cab is much smaller than the cost of dealing with a DUI or the danger of getting in an accident. An effective method to avoid having to drive while intoxicated is to have a ‘getting home’ plan before going out; whether by walking, cab, public transportation or a designated driver.
Alas, drivers still find themselves in a tight spot when a police officer pulls them over after a night of drinking. In those cases, drivers should keep the following in mind.
- Be courteous. Remember, police officers deal with all sorts of people throughout their shift and their patience starts to wear thin.
- If a police officer asks you to get out of your vehicle, you should comply.
- However, do not volunteer any information, no matter how innocent it may sound. Being polite does not mean that you have to do the officer’s job for them.
- More importantly, do not admit to having any beverages or other intoxicating substances. The most common answer a driver who has been drinking gives when asked whether they have been drinking, is that they have only had two drinks; a strong indicator that the real number is north of two.
It is important that drivers provide as little damaging evidence as possible. Police officers work for the State. They gather evidence that state attorneys use to prosecute alleged DUI offenders. Police officers do not have your interest in mind. Another important thing to remember is that a breathalyzer may not be necessary if the police officer has sufficient evidence from other sources, including a field sobriety test, that show one is intoxicated. Most police cars now have cameras on their dashboards and the officers may be wired with microphones, thus catching behavior that may indicate drunkenness.
Drivers are the victims of police overreaching all the time. If you are facing a DUI charge, an experienced Illinois DUI attorney may help.