My client was arrested for BWI (boating while intoxicated) on Lake Travis by an officer with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The officer reported that my client was operating his boat at night without the requisite navigational lights.
My client REFUSED THE BREATH TEST, but did do the water sobriety (a condensed version of the SFSTs) and Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), which he was unaware that he could refuse.
The officer reported that my client had an odor of alcohol coming from his breath, that his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and that his attitude was combative. The officer stated, and the video confirmed, that my client failed twice to correctly recite the alphabet. The officer said my client showed all six clues on the HGN (eye jerking) test. The officer said that my client could not keep his balance during the instructions, failed to touch heel to toe, and stepped off line twice during the Walk & Turn test. The officer stated that my client refused to follow instructions during the One Leg Stand test.
We took the case to court and let the State know that we were going to fight the case. Eventually the prosecutor agreed to DISMISS THE BWI and pay a small fine for the navigational light violation. This will allow my client to have the BWI erased from his record, and deny that he was ever arrested for BWI.
My client was arrested for DWI in Austin by an officer with the Austin Police Department. The officer reported that my client stumbled across a police barricade and attempted to drive away in his vehicle against an officerâ€™s warning.
My client provided a BREATH TEST with RESULTS above the legal limit of .080. My client also performed the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). He was from New York, so he didnâ€™t know he could refuse these.
The officer reported that my client emitted a strong odor of alcohol, had glassy and bloodshot eyes, and stumbled and swayed in his stance. The officer said my client possessed all of the 6 possible clues on the HGN (eye jerking) test. The officer also stated that he demonstrated 4 out of 8 clues on the Walk & Turn test, including: failing to touch heel to toe, losing balance during the instructions, turning improperly and using arms for balance. The officer further stated that my client swayed and used his arms for balance on the One Leg Stand test.
We took the case to court and let the State know that we were going to fight. Eventually the prosecutor agreed to DISMISS THE DWI, and my client pled to a non-DWI offense. This was particularly important for this client because he was a salesman in New York that frequently travels to Canada, something he couldnâ€™t do with a DWI conviction.
My client was arrested for DWI in Austin, Texas by an officer with the Austin Police Department. The officer reported that my client was stopped because he was clocked doing 50 in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.
My client SUBMITTED TO A BLOOD TEST and performed the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). He didnâ€™t know he could refuse these.
The officer noted that my clientâ€™s eyes were bloodshot and that he was physically unstable. The officer stated that my client exhibited no clues on the HGN (eye jerking) test, but that he had constricted pupils, consistent with the use of narcotics. The officer stated that my client exhibited 5 of the 8 clues on the Walk & Turn test, including: losing balance during the instructions, taking the wrong number of steps, using arms for balance, failing to touch heel to toe and stepping off line. The officer further said that my client showed 3 of the 4 clues on the One Leg Stand test, including: swaying, putting his foot down and using his arms for balance.
We took the case to court and let the State know we were going to fight the case. Eventually, the prosecutor agreed to DISMISS THE DWI outright. This meant no probation, fines or community service.
“All prescription sleeping pills may sometimes cause sleep-driving,” federal health officials warned Wednesday.
Sleep driving is a variation of sleepwalking. It involves getting in the car in the middle of the night, driving around, and with absolutely no memory of the drive.
The Food and Drug Administration wouldn’t say exactly how many cases of sleep-driving it had linked to insomnia drugs, but neurology chief Dr. Russell Katz said the agency uncovered more than a dozen reports — and is worried that more are going uncounted.
Given the millions of prescriptions for insomnia drugs, Katz called the problem rare, and said he was unaware of any deaths. But because sleep-driving is so dangerous — and there are precautions that patients can take — the FDA ordered a series of strict new steps Wednesday.
First, the makers of 13 sleep drugs must put warnings on their labels about two rare but serious side effects:
â€¢ sleep-driving, along with other less dangerous “complex sleep-related behaviors” — like making phone calls, fixing and eating food, and having sex while still asleep.
â€¢ and life-threatening allergic reactions, as well as severe facial swelling, both of which can occur either the first time the pills are taken or anytime thereafter. Read the rest of this entry »
The City of Austin has decided to replace their current BAT Bus (Breath Alcohol Test Bus) with a new improved BAT Bus.
The city agreed to buy a breath alcohol testing bus so officers don’t have to make the trip to the county jail.
The new Bat Bus will have to stations for Intoxilyzer 5000s as well as workstations for the officers to review the videotapes of the incident and prepare the offense reports.
Futher, there will be City Marshalls on hand to transport folks who have been arrested to the jail facility. This will allow officers like the one they call “the Machine” to get back on the street faster. The Machine currently holds the record for making 7 arrests in one night.
â€œTypical, DWI arrest takes between three and four hours,â€ Austin police Cmdr. Patti Robertson said. â€œIt narrows it down. Takes off 3/4 of that time. They have all the paperwork, turns it over to the officers on the bus.â€
DWI has become big business in Austin.
â€œWe are at 800 per 100,000 people for DWI arrests…â€ Robertson said. â€œWhat that means is we are ……the highest in the state for DWI arrests. I think that speaks volumes.â€ It certainly does.
There are approximately 10 different agencies in and around Austin that are all competing for grant money related to DWIs. The question then becomes, “Could this possibly motivate officer to make more and more arrests?” My belief……ABSOLUTELY!
The Austin American Statesman carried a good article detailing that acting Austin Police Chief Cathy Ellison fired an officer Tuesday after she said the officer lied about the circumstances of an arrest that led to a man’s conviction.
Travis County Assistant District Attorney Patty Robertson said Learmonth remains under a criminal investigation.
According to the disciplinary memo, Learmonth stopped a car Smith was driving and arrested and charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession. He also arrested and charged Smith’s female passenger with tampering with evidence.
Internal affairs looked into the case, and Learmonth admitted during an interview with investigators that he had lied in his police report, according to the memo.
He also falsely wrote in reports that the female passenger tried to destroy evidence, an action that Learmonth’s patrol car video shows she never did.
“Officer Learmonth falsified his report and probable cause affidavits to bolster the charges,” the memo said. “He intentionally and knowingly placed false information in these documents, knowing it was unlawful to do so.”
The memo said that Learmonth’s actions were reported by local media, which discredited the department and that his actions “are unethical and taint the entire justice system.”
Learmonth’s credibility, will certainly be affected for all pending cases for which he participated.