DUI cases can be very complicated, especially with controversial laws surrounding
DUI checkpoints, blood tests, and other related issues. Not only do many
of these laws vary from state to state, but officers themselves can have
a hard time keeping track of them. This issue was recently demonstrated
in a case where a sleepy driver was falsely arrested by an officer on
incorrect grounds. Two years later, the man has finally received justice,
securing an award of $70,000 for the mistreatment and abuse of his rights.
Driver Arrested for Refusing Field Sobriety Tests
The incident occurred two years ago in Santa Monica. A man was pulled over
in a routine stop after he allegedly committed a violation of a right
turn on a red light. When the officer approached his car after the stop,
he asked the driver whether he had anything to drink or had taken any
drugs. The driver replied no to both questions, but the officer still
requested that he perform a field sobriety test. When the driver asked
whether or not it was mandatory that he take the test by law, the officer said yes.
The issue here is that field sobriety tests are not required by law and
may be legally refused by a driver. The only type of tests that are required
by law in Hawaii in
DUI cases are
chemical tests. When a driver refuses to take one of these tests, they can have their
license automatically revoked and face other consequences. Despite this,
the officer continued to insist that the man take the test and harassed
him with further questions on the laws, eventually forcing him to get
out of the car when the man further refused to take the tests, stating
that he believed he was not legally required to do so. He handcuffed the
man and then called two other patrol cars for “back-up.” The
man was later shoved into the back of a cop car, had his car towed, and
had his dogs impounded—all for legally refusing to take a field
The man had his blood drawn at jail, where the results came up completely
clean. After being released and paying $400 to have his car and dogs returned
to him, he took legal action against the officer. Thankfully, the man
was given a just outcome in this situation.
Why Legal Counsel Is So Important in DUI Cases
In this case, the officer either was unaware of the laws, misinformed,
or blatantly chose to ignore them in attempts to bully and intimidate
the driver into taking the field sobriety tests. This just further demonstrates
why it is so important to not only know your rights, but be prepared to
take action to defend them in the aftermath of a DUI arrest.
If you are seeking legal counsel, be sure to
reach out to The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady, LLC today.