Driving in bad weather can make it difficult to get around safely and it can also make it difficult if someone gets pulled over and has to get out and follow an officer's instructions. One New Jersey official who was recently pulled over believes the weather may have had a lot to do with why he ended the evening being arrested for drunk driving. The official involved was a retired police captain and also an Office of Emergency Management coordinator.
The 61-year-old borough official was seen by an officer who allegedly contends the man was crossing into the other lane and also slowing and braking at inappropriate times. Once pulled over, the officer says he could smell alcohol and contends the gentleman told him he had consumed alcohol. He was then asked to get out and perform field sobriety tests. The tests were recorded and purportedly show the man had a hard time doing as he was asked to do.
The man contends the wind and the rain were to blame for his failure to complete the tests as directed. The man in question also had previous knee and head injuries that he believes made it difficult for him to perform the tests. His age may also be a factor in why the tests were difficult.
The man was arrested for drunk driving and also reckless driving, which could lead to serious criminal consequences in a New Jersey courtroom if as conviction is actually obtained. In this case, as may be the case for others, there may be extenuating circumstances that work to explain why someone may have a difficult time performing a field sobriety tests regardless of their actual impairment or lack of impairment. There may be times when a field sobriety test is thrown out and not able to be used as evidence against a driver suspected of DUI. Moreover, the burden is on the prosecution to prove the charges, and if they are not able to do so, no conviction can be returned against the man.
Source: northjersey.com, "Fort Lee official and retired police captain awaits trial for drunken driving," Linh Tat, April 26, 2013