Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert: Our office is OPEN, and will remain open, to the extent possible, during this crisis. We have long handled consultations and retainers by telephone. We are managing all new and pending criminal and DUI cases under current and evolving court practices.

Driver’s License Restoration and Clearance cases are well-suited to start over the phone, and the “down time” many people have now is a good opportunity to begin this process.

Our consultations have ALWAYS been free, confidential, and done over the phone, right when you call. We are very friendly people who will be glad to explain things and answer your questions, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Field Sobriety Tests

The importance of field sobriety tests cannot be overstated when it comes to looking for a way to “beat” a DUI case. To be honest, finding problems with the field sobriety tests substantial enough to get a case dismissed is a bit of a long-shot. Police officers are trained to administer these tests, so what we’re really looking for is a mistake on their part.

One of the best ways to find such a mistake is to review any police video of the administration of these tests. Even if there are no real mistakes in the administration of field sobriety tests, any discrepancy between what the police officer writes in his or her report, and what shows up on that video can have some value in challenging the case.

Let’s look at an example:

Driver Don is pulled over by the police for speeding, or weaving, or whatever. According the police report (and this is in every police report I’ve ever read), as the officer made contact with Driver Don, he or she noticed that there was “a strong odor of intoxicants” coming from the vehicle, that Don’s eyes appeared to be red, glassy, and/or bloodshot, and that his speech seemed slow and slurred.

[By the way, anyone reading this who was pulled over can bank on a nearly identical version of the above paragraph being in their police report].

Don is asked out of the car to perform some field sobriety tests. One such test is that Don is to count backwards, from 72 to 59. According to the report, Don continued past 59 and stopped at 52.

When asked to recite the alphabet without singing it, he is alleged to have said something like “h, j, k, m, l, n, o, p….”

Now, standing alone (meaning if there is no video), the officers report of this performance will be hard to challenge. As it turns out, Don blew a .16 at the Police Station, so his recollection of his own performance won’t count for much. Thus, the officer’s version of what happened is quite likely to stand, there being no reliable evidence to the contrary.

If, however, there was in-car video of the stop and field sobriety tests, they had darn well better show the same performance on those tests as recalled in the officer’s report.

For all of that, my experience with police video has been lukewarm, at best. Often, the video shows the client at what can only be described as not their best. I’ve sat with plenty of clients who, a few minutes into things, have said “shut that off. I’ve seen enough.”

Other times, I’ve seen videos where the camera angle wasn’t very good, or the microphone muffled, or not on, and which neither helps nor hurts the officer’s version of events.

Sometimes, however, the video contradicts the officer’s version of what happened. When that occurs, it may be a bit premature to start popping the champagne corks, but it is reason to be optimistic.

The bottom line is, you’ll never know until you look. Videos usually run about $50 or so, and that’s a small investment for what can be a huge payoff.

Client Reviews
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Five stars hands down!! Jeff and his legal team represented me in a seemingly impossible situation. I had many obstacles to overcome, in the end I walked out with with my driving privileges reinstated. Jeff and his team were very helpful Peter
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Thank you for your knowledge and help in winning restoration of my driving privileges. I tried before on my own, lost (of course) and am glad I found your site. Katie
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Just wanted to thank you for winning my license appeal. I was so happy when I got the letter in the mail that said I had won. I thank you so much for all your help and would be so happy to give your name to anyone who needs to get their license back. Mike
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I wanted to thank you for taking my case. I would tell anybody trying to get their License back they need to talk to you. I should have done this a long time ago. Doug