Law enforcement officials in an Illinois town recently made a DUI arrest despite the driver’s refusal to submit to field sobriety testing. According to the arresting officers, police responded to a report of a person sleeping in their vehicle. The vehicle was located near an embankment and allegedly was not placed in park. The driver allegedly attempted to move his vehicle when officers woke him and then allegedly crashed his vehicle into a police cruiser.
The driver submitted to the officers’ commands to exit his vehicle and thereupon was evaluated visually by the arresting officers. He did not provide a breathalyzer sample nor did he perform any of the field sobriety tests, such as the single leg stand or straight line walk, but officers still arrested him for DUI due to his allegedly bloodshot eyes and apparent smell of alcohol.
Although officers such as those involved in this story do work to protect the public from possible threats to their health and safety, this story presents some alarming facts that raise questions about an individual’s safety and privacy. The arrested party in this story was neither driving his vehicle nor posing threats to anyone in his immediate vicinity; he was asleep. Officers may have made assumptions about his condition in order to make their drunk driving arrest, but it is possible that the color of his eyes and other factors were affected by other issues afflicting the man. As has previously been discussed in previous posts here, medical conditions, exhaustion and other conditions can mirror the effects of alcohol in a driver and may lead to a driver’s erroneous arrest.
During his trial this driver will have the opportunity to present all of the facts that led to his arrest for drunk driving. With the right approach, he may be able to overcome the presumptions of his charges and secure his freedom with dismissed charges.
Source: galesburg.com, “Sleeping driver arrested for DUI,” Robert Connelly, May 4, 2017