May 4, 2016
A driver in the St. Louis area is pulled over for failing to move over for an emergency vehicle. According to the officer that responded, the driver had a strong odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, swayed while standing and failed three standardized field sobriety tests. Fortunately for the driver, there is a dash cam video which captures the entire stop and arrest. Additionally, the driver has an attorney that takes the government to task. At trial, attorney Jeremy Hollingshead aggressively cross-examines the officer regarding his observations. On cross-examination, the officer admits that the odor of alcohol is a meaningless method of determining intoxication, because a strong odor can be present in a person who has consumed only one drink. He also admits that he the driver had no problems driving, no problems pulling over and no problems getting out of his car. The driver’s speech is completely normal and, generally, his balance is normal. Finally, the officer admits that his report is filled with errors, and he had no idea how to properly administer field sobriety testing. After cross-examining the officer, Mr. Hollingshead called an expert witness to the stand who testified that the entire investigation was botched, and the officer improperly administered the field sobriety tests. The video corroborated Mr. Hollingshead’s cross-examination and the expert’s testimony.
At the conclusion of the trial, the judge ruled in favor of the driver. Winning a .151 BAC case requires extensive preparation and knowledge, but this case proves that it can be done.
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