In the State Court of Liberty County my client (we’ll call him Joe) was charged with DUI less safe – 40-6-391(a)(1), DUI .08 grams or more – 40-6-391(a)(5), and Speeding. He pleaded guilty to just the speeding charge. The DUI less safe and the DUI .08 grams or more were dropped.
The police report said that Joe had red, glossy eyes, and that he had a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath. The Liberty County Police Officer asked Joe how much he had drunk and Joe said he had three glasses with one shot of gin in each cup that he made. Then the officer asked him when he had his last drink, and Joe said four or five hours ago. The report said Joe was unsteady on his feet when he got out of his BMW. The video showed that he was not unsteady. The police officer then gave Joe a preliminary breath test. The result showed the presence of alcohol and they arrested Joe, cuffed him, and took him to jail for DUI.
What the Liberty County police did not do was give Joe any field sobriety tests. They should have given him three field sobriety tests (also known as roadside agility tryouts (RATS) in this order: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, One-Leg Stand. Then after those three field sobriety tests he should have been asked to blow in that preliminary breath test.
I got ready for the preliminary hearing. The day of the preliminary hearing the District Attorney agreed to drop the two DUI charges and let Joe plead guilty to Speeding. Joe agreed. Naturally.