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  • #31
    JUST...SRT and a few others have given pretty thorough explanations in rebuttal to the assumptions you have been posting, but I will gladly add my opinon as a SGT/FTO and DUI Instructor.

    Bottom line, reading materials about DUI arrests and breath tests are not going to give you first-hand knowledge of how we arrest people for DUI. To even mention that the process is flawed on how a DUI arrest is made is ridiculous. Even with all the loopholes we face now, I have yet to go to trial on a DUI case, because every person who I arrested knew they had too much to drink and got behind the wheel. DUI arrests are based upon the totality of circumstances. Not just the way the vehicle was driving, not just the smell of an alcoholic beverage upon the driver, and not just the results of the FST's, but everything combined. If you do not believe that the FST's are reliable, you really have not done as much research as you think. The NHTSA FST's have been tested time and time again since their orginial inception in 1981 (in CA, FL, and WA). The testing has been conducted both in the lab and field settings. Certain officers were trained in the three-test battery (HGN, WAT, OLS) and told to conduct them while on patrol. When the national presumptive level of impairment was .10%, the tests showed that those violators that had 4 or more clues on the HGN & 2 or more on the WAT had a BAC of .10% or greater 81% of the time. Now that the level is .08%, the same two FST's combined have shown that those had a BAC of .08% or higher 91% of the time. Now, if you are in my shoes and you have erratic driving (i.e. weaving, drifting, driving off roadway), several clues during your contact with the driver, and several clues during the FST's, what would you do? You post as if we're just pulling people over, smell something and arresting them for DUI without any probable cause. A DUI arrest is one of the hardest arrests to make believe it or not. The officer is the sole witness in establishing probable cause to make the arrest. It's not like a theft or assault case where 99% of the time you have an identified suspect and an identified victim. The greater component and overall accuracies found during the last 1998 study of the FST's are attributable to 17 years of law enforcement experience with them since the original 1981, and you're questioning it? The only time the FST's normally come into question in the courtroom is when the officer was either inexperienced or administered them wrong. I have never seen an attorney question the actual validity of them.

    alcohol has no odor
    Sorry...."alcoholic beverage" has a very distinct odor. If it is a non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, then again, there are tons of ways to tell whether the person is impaired.

    cops are actually going to have the authority to stick a suspect with a needle. WHOA!!
    Actually as an EMT-IV, I can also do a blood draw if the violator consents to a blood test, but I don't. Mainly because it's a conflict issue. Although officers may have the authority to draw blood in another state, I highly doubt it will happen. It is best to leave it to a neutral party, such as a nurse, which is what we do in my area.

    I will also mention that breathalyzers are very accurate, particularly the new EC IR II's. The fact that we do blood tests is not to give discredit to the breath machines. More and more people these days are driving on controlled substances that breath machines will obviously not detect. A new law has passed in my state (Tennessee) where I can request breath and blood, and if the violator refuses either, they will automatically lose their license for a year.

    I don't see any "rights" being violated when it comes to DUI arrests. How can you even argue about DUI violators when the statistics show that someone died in this country every 31 minutes in 2004 due to an alcohol-related crash? If you think stiffer penalties are not the answer then by all means, let us know what is. Because obviously arresting these folks, fining them, and taking their driving priviledges away is still not enough.

    And I do believe that if you are legally DUI and you cause injury, death, or property damage, then you should be punished to the fullest extent of the law
    So I guess if they haven't crashed or killed someone yet when we stop them, we need to cut them a break?
    SgtScott31
    Forum Member
    Last edited by SgtScott31; 06-10-2007, 03:27 PM.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #32
      Since permission to operate a motor vehicle is a PERMISSION granted by the State, the State could order any check it desires on the condition of the driver. Since you have no "right" to drive a motor vehicle, no rights are violated in traffic stops, random checks of license plates and any number of vehicle check points.

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      • #33
        Few, if any motorists get stopped for DUI. That may be a presumption, but it has to be proved.

        Most get stopped for weaving, for running into trees or other cars, for crossing the median, or for speeding. There's no presumption of DUI until an "alcoholic beverage" is smelled.

        If one is NOT smelled, and the action the officer observes is consistent with his training as indicating impairment, it's probable that the guy is under the influence of drugs. There are visual tests for that as well.

        It is incorrect (though picky) for an officer to say "I pulled him over for DUI." In fact, it would probably get a case thrown out. Everyone knows this fact, but we seem to forget that it's a driver's actions that we observe. No way can we judge is Blood alcohol content from the front seat of a patrol unit.
        "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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        • #34
          Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
          JUST...

          Actually as an EMT-IV, I can also do a blood draw if the violator consents to a blood test, but I don't. Mainly because it's a conflict issue. Although officers may have the authority to draw blood in another state, I highly doubt it will happen. It is best to leave it to a neutral party, such as a nurse, which is what we do in my area.

          I will also mention that breathalyzers are very accurate, particularly the new EC IR II's. The fact that we do blood tests is not to give discredit to the breath machines. More and more people these days are driving on controlled substances that breath machines will obviously not detect. A new law has passed in my state (Tennessee) where I can request breath and blood, and if the violator refuses either, they will automatically lose their license for a year.
          So why not just cut the crap and just use blood tests? Why waste the time, money, and resources by using Breathalyzers? As SRT stated, blood tests are easier and faster. ITN stated that blood tests are the most accurate measure of BAC by definition. Why all the bull? Attorney Robert F. Keefer of Harrisonburg, Virginia, filed a demand under the FOIA for records concerning the machine used in that state, the Intoxilyzer 5000. Keefer was finally successful in obtaining internal documents from the Department that were submitted in support of an application for funding to replace the breath machines used throughout Virginia with newer models. The following are direct quotes from those documents:

          Funding of this request will allow the agency to replace instruments (Intoxilyer 5000 instruments) that are 9-10 years old and for which replacements are not available. These instruments are outdated and the manufacturer is no longer maintaining parts and not capable of fully supporting them since current instruments demonstrate two further generations of technological advancement.

          Here's the kicker. In reponse to the request form’s question, “What are the expected results to be achieved if this request is funded?”, the following response was given:


          To replace outdated, unstable and unreliable breath alcohol instrumentation used by police officers throughout the Commonwealth to certify whether a driver is or is not impaired.

          But, whatever.

          [/QUOTE]I don't see any "rights" being violated when it comes to DUI arrests. How can you even argue about DUI violators when the statistics show that someone died in this country every 31 minutes in 2004 due to an alcohol-related crash? If you think stiffer penalties are not the answer then by all means, let us know what is. Because obviously arresting these folks, fining them, and taking their driving priviledges away is still not enough.[/QUOTE]

          Then I would ask you what the definition of "alcohol-related" crash is. Does it mean the driver that caused the accident was legally DUI? If not, then I want to see the statistics of how many people drive legally intoxicated and out of that number I want to see how many people that were driving legally intoxicated caused a fatal crash. "Alcohol-related" seems like a way of massaging numbers to meet an agenda. The DUI crash fatalities have not dropped at all over the past 13 years. I don't drive after drinking any alcohol. When I go out and drink a few my wife drives because she doesn't drink. However, I did drive after drinking a few times back in the day and I can see how someone would drive after drinking a couple of beers at the sports bar or a couple of glasses of wine at a resturaunt. I never had a breathalyzer in my back pocket to see if I was legally intoxicated and I didn't drink till I was falling down. To me, I was okay to drive. I was coherent and aware. After about 6 beers, the most I felt was light headed. I have never been in an accident sober or drunk. I have just seen a few good, level- headed people I know have to go through a bunch of crap for blowing a .09 or .10. I would figure some kind of common sense and discretion should be used to determine if a person blew .09 and he didn't seem drunk that he would be able to catch a ride home and pay the towing bill or something like that. As far as a solution, I would venture to say prohibition of alcohol. But, we all know where that will get us. More public transportaion late at nght. Safer vehicles instead of distracting gadgets. Breathalyzers at places that serve alcohol.

          [/QUOTE]So I guess if they haven't crashed or killed someone yet when we stop them, we need to cut them a break?[/QUOTE]

          I don't know. Do you cut speeders a break? Do you cut senior citizens a break when they cut someone off? Do you cut red light runners a break? If you do, then under certain circumstances I would say yes. Technically, I would say moreso because all of the aforementioned circumstances are just as detrimental to society except DUI carries the stiffest penalties. If the DUI is falling down drunk or totally out of it, then that one needs to take the trip.

          BTW, I take back the comment about SRT being right about alcohol not being able to naturally produce in the body. Here's why:

          Two physicians at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore reported that they detected the odor of beer in three of their patients. This was in an isolated hospital setting; there was no access to alcoholic beverages. The doctors had urine samples taken and analyzed by gas chromatography. Result? All three showed the presence of alcohol in their systems. Two of these were then tested for actual blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). One showed a BAC of .043%. The other was .121% — or 1 1/2 times the legal limit for DUI!

          “The presence of alcohol in human specimens containing glucose and yeast should come as no surprise,” the two physicians wrote. “Several have made this observation. Under normal circumstances trace amounts of alcohol may be found in the blood; the alcohol is then channeled into an energy pathway by hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase…

          “The Japanese report the “auto brewery syndrome” in which they have seen middle aged patients with bowel abnormalities, most often after surgery, who have yeast overgrowth, usually candida, in the G.I. tract and who ferment ingested carbohydrates, producing enough alcohol to result in drunkeness.” Mullholland and Townsend, “Bladder Beer – A New Clinical Observation”, 95 Transactions of the American Clinical Climatological Association 34 (1983).

          Swedish researchers, for example, have found that:

          “Increasing evidence has emerged to show that endogenous ethanol does exist, the concentrations seen have large inter-individual variations. Our results show a markedly skewed distribution of values…The reason for the wide inter-individuaal variation in healthy abstaining individuals is hard to explain.” Jones et al., “Determination of Endogenous Ethanol in Blood and Breath By Gas Chromatography, 18 Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 267 (1983).

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          • #35
            So why not just cut the crap and just use blood tests? Why waste the time, money, and resources by using Breathalyzers?
            Blood tests waste way more time, money, and resources than breath tests. We have to transport the violator to a hospital, take up the receptionists time, the nurse's time, and then send the blood test to the crime lab (in TN, it's the TBI), and spend tons of money for toxicology results. The new breath tests are cheaper, faster, and more reliable. Although there has been an increase of driving under the influence of drugs, the majority of DUI arrests are still alcohol related, so it is only reasonable to continue to use breathalyzers.

            Your quote from Keefer out of Virginia is mute. From your post, he was simply requesting that the old Intoxilyzer 5000's were out of date and unreliable, requesting that monies be provided to replace the equipment. I didn't like the 5000's either, espcially since we had to do wet baths. I will agree that they were time consuming, more tedious and outdated for the times, but equipment changes, just as the times do.

            I have just seen a few good, level- headed people I know have to go through a bunch of crap for blowing a .09 or .10.
            I have also seen people with the same level BAC's have trouble walking, let alone safely driving a vehicle.

            I am sure it would be safe to assume that "alcohol-related" crash meant the driver of at least one of the vehicles involved in the crash. You seem to want to ignore the fact that alcohol is a factor in many fatal crashes across the country. Do you have first hand knowledge? I do....almost 10 years of vehicle rescue, 6 years as an EMT and 5 as law enforcement. If you don't think these fatal crashes between 12am and 3am are not alcohol related, then you don't want to accept the truth. No one is massaging anything to push an agenda.

            Two physicians at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore reported that they detected the odor of beer in three of their patients. This was in an isolated hospital setting; there was no access to alcoholic beverages. The doctors had urine samples taken and analyzed by gas chromatography. Result? All three showed the presence of alcohol in their systems. Two of these were then tested for actual blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). One showed a BAC of .043%. The other was .121% — or 1 1/2 times the legal limit for DUI!

            “The presence of alcohol in human specimens containing glucose and yeast should come as no surprise,” the two physicians wrote. “Several have made this observation. Under normal circumstances trace amounts of alcohol may be found in the blood; the alcohol is then channeled into an energy pathway by hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase…

            “The Japanese report the “auto brewery syndrome” in which they have seen middle aged patients with bowel abnormalities, most often after surgery, who have yeast overgrowth, usually candida, in the G.I. tract and who ferment ingested carbohydrates, producing enough alcohol to result in drunkeness.” Mullholland and Townsend, “Bladder Beer – A New Clinical Observation”, 95 Transactions of the American Clinical Climatological Association 34 (1983).

            Swedish researchers, for example, have found that:

            “Increasing evidence has emerged to show that endogenous ethanol does exist, the concentrations seen have large inter-individual variations. Our results show a markedly skewed distribution of values…The reason for the wide inter-individuaal variation in healthy abstaining individuals is hard to explain.” Jones et al., “Determination of Endogenous Ethanol in Blood and Breath By Gas Chromatography, 18 Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 267 (1983).
            I don't know where you're going with all of this. 20+ year old studies where alcohol was found due to extremely rare medical cases, none of which would cause an officer to make a false arrest for DUI. As I stated in my last post, totality of circumstances. The more common medical condition that may land someone arrested initially for DUI is hypoglycemia, but as diabetes has been so widely recognized, so has the training to recognize low-blood sugar effects by street level officers.


            More public transportaion late at nght. Safer vehicles instead of distracting gadgets. Breathalyzers at places that serve alcohol.
            Four words why none of the above will work...lack of personal accountability.

            There is plenty of public transportation (i.e buses, taxis, subways). If they can afford the alcohol, they can afford the transportation, but decide to drive. Breathalyzers would indicate levels of impairment, and people would laugh and continue out to the parking lot. Plenty know they have had too much to drink, they don't need breathalyzers to confirm it.

            Again, all of your knowledge is from Monday morning quaterbacking and reading outdated materials. Ride with a full-time DUI unit in a major urban city and you may actually begin to see the problem.
            SgtScott31
            Forum Member
            Last edited by SgtScott31; 06-14-2007, 02:39 PM.
            I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by texaschickeee View Post
              Alcohol processes differantly in women then men, and also body sizes differ alot to. Toss in combo of meds (be it psych, antibiatics or whatever, then ifyou ahve eaten or not and like smurfette said, people that dont drink alot vesus thos that drink daily.

              I personally about three weeks ago had taken some allerigy meds, had 2 nice size mixed drinks and asked my friend to take me home. I KNEW i was drunk after the first one. and when most people comment that I appeared...no chances with me. Its not something I want to do, let alone it takes ONE TIME to wipe out a family or something.
              As someone who used to drink quite a bit back in the day, I hardly, if ever touch it anymore, mainly due to lifestyle changes. I had a beer almost 9 months ago, and i could barely finish it, compared to one time when I could drink 10-12 beers like it was water. That one beer got to me and I haven't had any since. To be honest, if I never had another drink in my life, no big deal.

              I also used to drink and drive, and it is something I'm not proud of at all. That's something I will never, ever do again. That's the problem with some who consume alcohol and what I used to think..feelings of invincibility are high and the ability to make wise and safe decisions are low.
              "Life should be a mission and adventure, not just a mere existence"

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