Just after the bars closed at 2:00 a.m. on a Saturday night in Old Town, Scottsdale, an officer pulled our client over after he allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign and made a wide right turn. The officer noticed that he had an odor of alcohol on his breath and that he was slurring his speech. Our client admitted to the officer that he had consumed alcohol before driving his vehicle. The officer had him step out of his car to perform standardized field sobriety tests.
The officer indicated that our client failed the HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus) and walk and turn tests. Our client did perform well on the one leg stand test, however on the walk and turn test, our client was recorded on body camera footage taking 34 steps without turning around, instead of the required 9 steps, turn, and 9 steps back. He was arrested for DUI, being impaired to the slightest degree, and having a BAC (breath alcohol concentration) above .08; he was also cited for making a wide right turn.
Our client submitted to an intoxilyzer test, resulting in a BAC of 1.02 and .099. He also submitted to a blood test, resulting in a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .106. All the results were above the legal limit of a .08. We were successful in suppressing the blood alcohol concentration results prior to his trial, however, at the trial the state prosecutor still had the breath alcohol concentration results of .102 and .099 to present to the jury.
By attacking the results of the field sobriety tests and the scientific studies relating to those tests, we convinced the jury that our client was not impaired by alcohol. Additionally, we convinced the jury that the officer did not see our client’s driving behavior as clearly as he claimed. After an intense cross-examination of the state prosecutor’s witnesses, we fought the intoxilyzer results and convinced the jury that the intoxilyzer results were unreliable. The jury acquitted our client—not guilty verdicts on both DUI charges—and no citation for the civil traffic violation. Our client walked away with a complete victory—a clean criminal record. After winning the case at trial, we were also able to expunge our client’s license suspension from his driving record.