DUI Arrest – When in Doubt Try the Cheerleader Pose?

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The following is told from the perspective of the responding officer. All information is from the corresponding police affidavit.

 

On March 1st at 1940 hours at 2400 South Hwy 27 during a crash investigation, I conducted a DUI Investigation on Abby Abbott who was the driver of the vehicle at fault. Abbey was out of the vehicle prior to my arrival and a wheel witness stated that she had parked car in the roadway blocking the exit of the parking lot. I observed Abbey walking towards us from where her car was parked. I then went and observed the car parked across the roadway blocking the exit. Abbey stated she parked it there and there was no issue. During my initial contact with Abbey, I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverages coming from her person. She was staggering around in the parking lot. Abbey had an unsteady balance and tried to keep a wide stance. Abbey’s face looked flushed and her eyes were watery and glassy. Abbey uttered that she had been drinking but only had a few drinks, and that she was at the Crown Lounge. She stated that she was trying to get home and would cover the cost of damages to the car she hit.

I asked Abbey if she was willing to do the Field Sobriety exercises to determine if she was impaired and to dispel my concerns and suspicions that she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Abbey agreed to do so.

My observations prior to beginning the exercises were as follows: Odor of alcohol, watery glassy eyes, flushed color of her face, stuttering, slurred and mumbling of speech, poor listening skills, crying, unsteady and poor coordination. Abbey was emotional, talkative, cooperative, and upset during the investigation.

During the Walk and Turn exercise, Abbey could not listen to directions. She kept trying to start the exercise too soon, and would interrupt me while I was trying to give her directions and demonstrate the exercise. After completing the instructions and demonstration, Abbey was instructed to start the exercise. Abbey stepped off the line between steps 3-7, missed the heel to toe on all steps but the 7th, raised her arms from her sides for balance the entire time, spun around instead of the three step turn I demonstrated. On the return, Abbey stepped off the line on all steps except 6-8, missed the heel to toe on all steps except 4 and 5, and again raised her arms during the entire time.

During the one leg stand, Abbey again could not follow instructions and would interrupt me when giving the instructions and demonstrating the exercise. Once I was able to complete the instructions, Abbey was instructed to begin. Abbey raised her left foot after saying she wanted to use her right foot. Abbey used her arms for balance, placed her foot back on the ground at the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 second marks and counted to two seconds. Abbey repositioned herself multiple times and was allowed to try the test three times. Abbey began to do positions that were not demonstrated and she started to do the cheerleader pose.

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Abbey was then placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and taken to the Clermont Police Department for the Intioxalizer 8000 Operation. The 20 minute observation time began at 1942 hours when Abbey was placed under arrest, and she did not drink anything or place anything in her mouth. While in the intox room, Abbey was crying and saying that her dog of 11 years was dying and home alone. She stated that her boyfriend had left her at the bar alone and that we should be arresting the terrible people at the Crown Lounge instead of her.

Abbey was read the consent form to provide a physical sample of her breath and she refused. I then read her the implied consent form at 8:33 PM hours, and I explained the consequences for refusing to submit to the test. Abbey then again refused to provide a sample of her breath. Abbey did not state or make any indication to me that she wanted to give any independent blood or urine test in place of the breath test. Abbey then was allowed to read the form, and she refused to sign the form acknowledging her refusal to submit to the breath test. Abbey was then asking what she should do and insisted that we give her advice on taking the breath test. She was advised that we cannot give her legal advice.

Abbey was then transported and turned over to the Lake County Sheriff’s Main Jail.

Nothing further at this time.

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