Before reading today’s post, please watch the dash cam video above.
What do you think? Does this person appear drunk?
This arrest features the same officer whose dash cam video appeared in yesterday’s youtube embed (note: I am not the person or persons responsible for putting these two videos on youtube; I merely found them during a search of the site). You can also see a second officer in this video who is another high-volume Chicago DUI officer. At their peak, these two were probably responsible for around 200 DUIs per year apiece.
My thoughts — and I don’t know anything more about this case than what is contained in this video — is that this man does not appear to be drunk. He does not seem dazed or confused, his walking and standing seem steady, and he seems to do very well on the field sobriety tests. He does three tests, and seems to ace each of them:
Walk and turn: By and large he walks back and forth, heel to toe, on an imaginary line without swaying or staggering
Finger to nose: he closes his eyes and keeps his head back without losing his balance, and touches the tip of his nose with his hands, using the correct hand as instructed, without acting slow or confused — even after the officer has dressed him down in a manner that would leave most stunned.
One Leg Stand: he is able to stand on one leg, without losing his balance.
I will admit that sometimes a video does not reveal everything — how was his driving? did he smell of alcohol? was there open alcohol in the car? did he take a breath test and what was the result? But often, seeing a video reveals a lot that can be missed when an officer testifies in court using dry jargon about “clues of impairment.”
You see, this officer could honestly testify that this man failed the “walk and turn” test. That is because failure on this test is based on the officer observing at least three “clues” and this man starts before instructed, walks the incorrect number of steps, stops at one point and does not walk heel to toe on each step. If there wasn’t a video, it would sound like he did pretty poorly. The video shows that not only did this man keep his balance while walking heel to toe on an imaginary line, he did so while the officer was constantly making loud and threatening interruptions that seem to be designed to throw him off. I wonder how Tiger Woods would do if he had to put while a large, intimidating cop yelled at him to look at his feet!
Look again closely. See the look in this man’s eye after the officer yells at him for chewing gum. It is a mixture of fear and resignation. Imagine being in this man’s shoes, trying to perform these field tests after that. Yet, somehow he goes on, does an excellent job, and still gets arrested. All the while, the other officer remains silently in the background, never suggesting that the arresting officer is acting unprofessional or that he has some doubt as to whether the motorist should be arrested.
What do you think?
More to come …