Before we get back in to what happens at a drug driving under the influence trial, let me give you a piece of advise. As a disclaimer, with criminal cases, there are no hard and fast rules because every case has different facts and someone's guilt or innocence could turn on a single fact. But, generally speaking, if someone is stopped and is in danger of getting arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, that person should refuse to do the field sobriety test. You don't have to do them and they are only going to be used against you (just like an incriminating statement).
It would seem obvious that field sobriety tests are not an accurate reflection of a person's ability to drive. Not being able to stand with your feet together, tilt your head back with your arms at your sides close your eyes and sing the national anthem backwards does not mean you can't drive a car. If it did, the DMV would make it part of the driving test. But the prosecutor always asks her expert this series of questions;
DA: Is driving a divided attention test?
Criminalist: Yes. It is an extremely complicated divided attention test in which the
driver has to process information very quickly while dealing with various stimuli all
while operating a car.
DA: Are the Field Sobriety Tests divided attention tests?
Criminalist: Why yes. They are comparatively simple divided attention tests.
The prosecutor then argues that if someone can't do these simple divided attention tests, then that person couldn't possibly perform the complex divided attention test of driving an automobile. Therefor, the person is impaired.
This seemingly ridiculous argument works...frequently.
The criminalist also will usually tell the jury that performance on these field sobriety tests accurately reflect a person's ability to drive and have been scientifically verified. This is inaccurate at best and a lie at worst.
Continue reading "How I Beat A Marijuana Driving Under The Influence, Part 2" »