Legal advice on Testing blood alcohol level
First, I’ve gotta tell you what they’re not: While the everyday vernacular is Field or Roadside Sobriety “TESTS”, these circus act assessments are not “tests” - at best they’re “exercises”.
And you don’t have to take my word for it because the FL Supreme Court has made this abundantly clear. In a DUI trial in FL, when a police officer is testifying about field or roadside sobriety exams IT IS reversible error for a police officer to use the word “tests”. In fact, because they’re specifically NOT “tests” the cops can’t even testify that you either “passed” or “failed” the FSTs.
So, what are FST’s? Field or Roadside Sobriety exams are a series of abnormal activities that allegedly allow a police officer who took a 40 hour course way back when in the police academy to determine whether or not your “normal faculties” are impaired.
After you’ve been lit you up and pulled over for a traffic stop and then compelled you to exit your vehicle, you’re effectively coerced into performing a bunch of unnatural physical behaviors, with no practice, no experience - and frankly no relevance to driving - on the roadside as traffic passes you by and while people stop and stare because you’re surrounded by a battalion of police officers and squad cars.
You’ll probably be asked to follow a pen with your eyes, to touch your finger to your nose, to stand on one leg while counting to 30 and then to walk a straight line while making the most unnatural turn of your life, and then, based upon the officer’s subjective assessment of your performance, you’ll either be handcuffed or not.
The biggest lie with FST’s is the fact that the cops WON’T tell you that FST’s are voluntary, and that you have no obligation to take them.
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North Carolina Constitution: Article I, Sec. 24. Right of jury trial in criminal cases.
No person shall be convicted of any crime but by the unanimous verdict of a jury in open court, except that a person accused of any criminal offense for which the State is not seeking a sentence of death in superior court may, in writing or on the record in the court and with the consent of the trial judge, waive jury trial, subject to procedures prescribed by the General Assembly. The General Assembly may, however, provide for other means of trial for misdemeanors, with the right of appeal for trial de novo. (2013-300, s. 1.)
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North Carolina Motor Vehicle Law § 20-140. Reckless driving.
(a) Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others shall be guilty of reckless driving.
(b) Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of reckless driving.
(c) Repealed by Session Laws 1983, c. 435, s. 23.
(d) Reckless driving as defined in subsections (a) and (b) is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(e) Repealed by Session Laws 1983, c. 435, s. 23.
(f) A person is guilty of the Class 2 misdemeanor of reckless driving if the person drives a commercial motor vehicle carrying a load that is subject to the permit requirements of G.S. 20-119 upon a highway or any public vehicular area either:
(1) Carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others; or
(2) Without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.
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