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boron
04-26-2012, 06:34 PM
In the U.S. (but also Canada, UK):

1. Can the police officer's interpretation of the "field sobriety test" (eye movements, walking) alone (without breath or blood alcohol test) be used for any legal procedure?

2. Do cyclists or even pedestrians also happen to get tested for alcohol?

I know it may differ from state to state. Just curious - if someone knows from the experience.

Snick
04-26-2012, 08:00 PM
Visible signs of intoxication can be used in courts. The weight they would be given varies from place to place, but those sign can go further to get someone punished than breath tests.

I have heard of judges who threw out all cases that rested solely on breath tests.

Cyclists and pedestrians can be arrested for public drunkenness in some places, and that charge would require that there be clear signs on inebriation.

Cathy C
04-26-2012, 08:18 PM
When you say "any legal procedure" do you mean for something other than DUI/DWI or public intoxication? Like fraud, or slander or something?

Drachen Jager
04-26-2012, 08:29 PM
In Canada there is no field sobriety test anymore (at least not in my part of Canada). They have a portable breathalyser they use if there is any reason to suspect drinking and driving.

jclarkdawe
04-26-2012, 09:27 PM
In the U.S. (but also Canada, UK):

1. Can the police officer's interpretation of the "field sobriety test" (eye movements, walking) alone (without breath or blood alcohol test) be used for any legal procedure? Anything that helps the trier of facts to either prove or disprove an aspect of a case can be produced in court. Field sobriety tests can support a conviction for DUI without any further evidence. The police officer's ability to interpret a field sobriety test can be cross-examined during a court hearing.

2. Do cyclists or even pedestrians also happen to get tested for alcohol? If a cyclist or a pedestrian is a danger to themselves or others, they can be placed in protective custody based upon their behavior and failure of a field sobriety test. For example, walking down a sidewalk, stumbling because of intoxication, nearly falling into the road, could lead to being detained as a danger to yourself. Additional charges such as public intoxication could also apply, depending upon the jurisdiction. Depending upon how the statute for DUI is written determines whether the DUI statute applies. Some statutes are limited to "motorized" vehicles on a public way, while others merely refer to vehicles. If the statute refers to vehicles, then cyclist, skateboarders, horse-drawn carriages, horse riders, and anyone else in a vehicle can be cited for DUI if found to be under the influence.

I know it may differ from state from state. Just curious - if someone knows from the experience.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

boron
04-26-2012, 11:05 PM
I'm writing a health article about alcohol and I've briefly described alcohol tests. I used "drivers" in the text, and then I thought cyclists could be also convicted of DUI/DWI, but then cyclists are not drivers, I guess, so maybe I should use "traffic participants" for all (or if there is any more common word like "used-in-the-news").

jclarkdawe
04-26-2012, 11:47 PM
Take a look at Can You Really Get a DUI on a Horse or Bicycle? (http://www.wisegeek.com/can-you-really-get-a-dui-on-a-horse-or-bicycle.htm)

In addition, run a google search for "bicylist dui" "horse dui" and "skateboard dui." You'll find a lot of stories, although you have to sort through the ones where the drunk car driver hit the bicyclist.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

shaldna
04-27-2012, 01:22 AM
i know that around here they will ALWAYS breathalise you if they think you might be intoxicated.

Also, do you know that it's illegal to be drunk in charge of a horse?

Rabe
05-17-2012, 11:44 AM
In the U.S. (but also Canada, UK):

1. Can the police officer's interpretation of the "field sobriety test" (eye movements, walking) alone (without breath or blood alcohol test) be used for any legal procedure?

2. Do cyclists or even pedestrians also happen to get tested for alcohol?

I know it may differ from state to state. Just curious - if someone knows from the experience.

Answers (pertaining to my state and jurisdiction):

1> Yes. The PBT is only used for fact finding and is not considered evidentiary in a DUI situation. It may be used for other types of investigations - such as underage drinking or probation violations.

2> Could. But for what purpose?

And an answer to a question brought up but not directly asked (and again, for my state):

DUI on a horse = Yes.
DUI on a bike = No.

The way the laws are written, bicycles are considered vehicles for everything but DUI, whereas a horse is still considered a vehicle for the purpose of DUI. Don't ask me why riding a horse - a creature with a brain of its own - allows for DUI when cycling doesn't.

I have been in conversations with an associate who is a state assemblyman about changing that particular part of the law, but he's a freshman assemblyman so I'm not holding out a bunch of hope for it happening yet.

Rabe...

boron
05-17-2012, 12:29 PM
OK, so bikes - no direct DUI (but it is a new law in my country...).