Criminal

WHAT AN OFFICER MUST DO DURING A DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED INVESTIGATION

INITIAL STOP AND FIELD SOBRIETY EVALUATION

Officers must be careful to note all violations of traffic laws (state and city ordinances) which prompted the traffic stop.

All conversations are recorded so a Driver should always ask why they are being detained.

All other actions on the part of the Drover, during the traffic stop must also be noted. If, after confronting the accused, the officer suspects the violator to be intoxicated, a field sobriety evaluation must immediately be administered after the accused is out of the vehicle. If requesting recitations such as the alphabet, counting, data recognition, be sure the suspect is not in a custodial situation.

THIS MEANS THE OFFICER ALREADY MADE UP HIS MIND, WHEN HE/SHE ASKS THE DRIVER TO STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE.

A. The accused’s ability to follow directions and perform the field sobriety evaluation must be reported in detail using the Field Sobriety Scoring Sheet. Officers must avoid using pass or fail terms to describe the results.

B. A field sobriety evaluation is to assist the officer in evaluating the accused’s state of sobriety, but must not be used as the sole determination of intoxication.

C. Diabetes

1. The symptoms of diabetes can sometimes resemble the indications of a person who is intoxicated, including dis- orientation, slurred speech, etc. Officers should check for a MedicAlert bracelet/necklace indicating a diabetic condition and/or see if the following symptoms are present prior to making a decision to initiate an arrest:

a. Dullness, headache, irritability, crying.

b. Shaking, sweating, lightheadedness.

c. Hunger, numbness, pale and/or moist skin.

d. Dizziness, loss of coordination, slurred speech.

e. Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.

f. Blurred vision.

g. Rapid, deep breathing — fruity odor to breath.

h. Confusion, drowsiness, unconsciousness.

2. If the subject is suffering from one of the above symptoms, a determination of the severity must be made. If the situation appears serious, officers must request that the dispatcher send an ambulance.

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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