Refused Field Sobriety and was let go after station test

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Anom, Nov 22, 2022.

  1. Anom

    Anom Guest

    Hi all. I’m trying to work out a situation from last night. I was driving home using “autopilot” with my car. For those that don’t know, the “self driving” feature can act like a drunk 15 yr old with a learners permit. Here, it was the classic lane sway to stay in the center of the lane markings. Long story short, got pulled over and started the DUI questions and answers. Even though I was emphatic that I hadn’t had anything to drink, the officer did the whole why are you nervous if you didn’t do anything wrong, why can’t you get me your registration, count backwards from 100 and say the alphabet at the same time while dancing an Irish jig at the same time. So, time for the field sobriety nonsense.

    Knowing the problem with field sobriety tests and taking the advice of every lawyer I know (defense, prosecutors and even an AUSA) I told the officer that I wouldn’t take the field tests and wanted to go straight to the certified machine at the station. That resulted in an arrest to start the process. I blew a 0 and was let go (unarrested?) after a long conversation about the car’s feature. I asked and am 110% confident that charges will not be referred.

    Here’s the question. Seeing as I was let go does this need to get reported to the FAA as an arrest even if temporary? I fly Basic Med and need to allow the DMV search. Any chance of them finding something on the search creating issues if I don’t report. Yes, I’ll get the police report and possibly contact a lawyer - joy of consulting fee.

    For airmen at large, what is the implication of not completing the impossible to pass field sobriety and moving to a chemical test? Is this an arrest across the board or a detainment depending on the state? While I’m Basic, how does an airman answer 18V (or whatever) asking if you have ever been arrested for an alcohol related offense? The joy of protecting one’s freedom, do what’s right and deal with the FAA’s administrative nightmare.
     
  2. pdonahue

    pdonahue Pre-Flight

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    "Have you ever been convicted (which may include paying a fine or forfeiting bond or collateral) of an offense involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug"
    and
    "Have you ever been convicted, and/or subject to an administrative action by a state or other jurisdiction for an offense for which your driver's license was denied, suspended, cancelled, or revoked or which resulted in attendance at an educational or rehabilitation program?"


    Being arrested for any crime doesn't mean you did anything wrong. Being convicted of a crime means that you did something wrong.
     
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  3. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Once at the station, prior to leaving, were you given a court date and a charging document stating DUI?

    The charging document (ticket) is what the FAA will care about, that is the system they will be referencing to see if you have a DUI against you. If you received no DUI charging document, I wouldn't bother with reporting it.
     
  4. drummer4468

    drummer4468 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Depends on the state. Try to get a solid answer on whether you were "arrested" or just "detained." Look up the implied consent law in your state, I'm not sure whether insisting on the certified test still counts as refusing a roadside breathalyzer/sobriety test, which is an automatic DUI arrest in a lot of places, including my state. I'd definitely contact an aviation attorney just to be sure.

    Best of luck. This is one of my biggest semi-irrational fears. I never drink and drive but the idea that a giddy cop with a faulty cheap breathalyzer can derail my flying career irks me.

    Edit: On the second read-through I realized that OP was talking about denying the BS gymnastics test and not a breathalyzer. Those rules still vary state-to-state
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
  5. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like his state is like mine where there are no in car roadside breathalyzers, just the ones at a central location. But either way, good point.
     
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  6. drummer4468

    drummer4468 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah I caught that when reading through it again, and amended my post, thanks.
     
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  7. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Wait a few days, then call the PD and request a copy of the arrest report. If there is one, see what it says. If there isn't one....
     
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  8. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Do you hold any class of an FAA medical certificate as well, or just BasicMed?
     
  9. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    For the OP, the relevant sections of 61.15.

    TLDR version, if you didn't have a conviction or a cancellation/suspension/revocation of your license, then a motor vehicle action didn't occur and therefore no immediate reporting requirement.


    (c) For the purposes of paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section, a motor vehicle action means:

    (1) A conviction after November 29, 1990, for the violation of any Federal or State statute relating to the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or a drug, while impaired by alcohol or a drug, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug;

    (2) The cancellation, suspension, or revocation of a license to operate a motor vehicle after November 29, 1990, for a cause related to the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or a drug, while impaired by alcohol or a drug, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug; or

    (3) ...

    (e) Each person holding a certificate issued under this part shall provide a written report of each motor vehicle action ...
     
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  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I think I agree, but on the FAA website ( https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi ) I read this:
    Arrests do not need to be reported to the the Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Office, Regulatory Investigations Division (AXE-700). However, all drug- and/or alcohol-related arrests must be reported whenever the next application for medical certificate, FAA Form 8500-8, is made.

    I believe that's a holdover from an old version of the form, correct? It looks like the form reads,
    History of (1) any conviction(s) involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while
    under the influence of alcohol or a drug; or (2) history of any conviction(s) or administrative action(s)
    involving an offense(s) which resulted in the denial, suspension, cancellation, or revocation of driving
    privileges or which resulted in attendance at an educational or a rehabilitation program.
    No mention of "arrest."

    But I found what appears to be an older version that has this:
    upload_2022-11-23_11-19-32.png


    I assume the FAA changed this somewhere along the line, and arrests no longer have to be reported?
     
  11. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Yes - I was focusing on the immediate reporting. Certainly he needs to figure out if he was arrested.

    Yes. My car was driving drunk. I was sober.

    That should do it.
     
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  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Damn E-85!
     
  13. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So many questions, none of them related to your question. 15 yo driving alone on a learners permit? Using the auto drive feature? Why didn't you get pinched for that?
     
  14. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He means the auto drive on the car acts like a drunk 15 year old with a learners permit. And it’s true. If I ever get pulled over for a dui it’ll be when I turn auto drive on. It’s horrible at times.
     
  15. Daleandee

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    I heard a story once about a DeLorean and some white lines ...
     
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  16. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ah, thank you. One day I'll read the post rather than skim it.

    Op, you did exactly what I would have done. The cop did not behave appropriately IMO.



    Edit: Removed offensive word.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022 at 9:47 AM
  17. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Probably should have asked the cop to give a sobrietary test to the car...
     
  18. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    If I could describe a car’s self-driving mode as appearing like a drunk 15-year old, I’m not sure I’d be using that feature.
     
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  19. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It only does it occasionally, but yeah, this is why 1) you have to keep both hands on the wheel at all times so you can take over immediately and 2) I don’t use it all that much.
     
  20. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Sounds like a real clown show. If he was left of center, he should have been cited for that violation. If he blew a zero, the next step should have been a urine specimen for a drug screen.
     
  21. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pattern Altitude

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    I got pulled over for exact same thing. Had a rental car that had lane centering. Was driving back to my hotel after work at around 8 pm on an empty interstate and let the lane control do it's thing. I'd never driven a car with that feature and was curious how effective it was. LEO followed me off the highway and hit the lights just before turning into hotel garage. Spent about 10 min explaining why I was swerving, LEO was not buying it. I finally said I was willing to go to station for a blood test otherwise I was going to stop talking to him. Let me go with no citation, but what a PITA.
     
  22. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    My truck has that feature. I tested it once, saw that behavior, and never used it since.
     
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  23. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And now it's time for THE REST OF THE STORY (or at least, the other side of the coin) Names, locations, actions, have all been changed for various reasons.

    Picture this, you're on patrol, you see a car driving poorly. You initiate the traffic stop, the driver does not dispute the bad driving, but tells you it is the car's fault. It is possible, but it is also possible the guy is intoxicated. After all, nobody every lies to the police, right? (Only non-cops and cops w/ less than 6hrs of experience could possibly believe that)

    So let's see if we can let the guy go upon his merry way. How to do this? Well, experience has proven that intoxicated people are horrible at determining if they're intoxicated, so we can't just ask. DUI is mostly a result of impaired motor skills and memory functions. So, if we can check those real quick, they can be on their way. Hmm, the individual refuses and demands to be released on their own say so as to their abilities, as, after all, it is the car's fault. Not theirs.

    So, here's the dilemma:
    - We have a car not being controlled properly upon the roadway (raising suspicion of DUI)
    - We have the human, who is responsible for the behavior of the car upon the roadway, saying it was not his driving but the car's
    - We have the human refusing to provide proof of motor skills and memory

    Options:
    1) Arrest the guy for DUI take him for a breath test
    - If he fails the breath test:
    ---You can rest easy knowing you took a DUI off the street
    - If he passes the breath test:
    ---Well, you can either cut him loose, or you can write him for failure to maintain lane or whatever else occurred to catch your eye and then cut him loose.

    2) Call the guy a ride to come get him. You're taking a suspected DUI off the road but still not having to process the time and paperwork for a DUI. Writing tickets for failure to maintain lane, etc is up to the officer.

    3) Cut the guy loose.
    - If he was not intoxicated, he's going to be unhappy anyway, no nothing gained. No one ever writes a thank you note in those situations.
    - If he WAS intoxicated:
    --- If he makes it home without damaging anything / anybody, he will bask in the glory of putting one over on the cops
    --- If he has a wreck on the way home from your traffic stop and hurts someone, your life just took a severe turn for the worse.
    ----- The guy's attorney will be saying "The cop said he was ok to drive, surely the cop can determine this, right? The 0.21 blood alcohol must not have been to blame."
    ----- The victim's attorney will be demanding to know why you allowed an intoxicated individual to drive after interacting with them.
    ----- The victim's attorney will be demanding to know how many other incompetent officers your agency has.
    ----- The victim's attorney will be demanding to know how many other incompetent officers your state has certified.
    ----- The state attorney general will be investigating to see how you determined he was ok to continue driving, and whether you may have crossed the line into criminal neglect while on duty, misconduct in office, etc.

    ----------------------

    So, yeah, there's reasons beyond "I feel like being a jerk today" for cops being a bit less lenient about how they deal w/ DUIs.


    We now return you to the normal scheduled complaining about cops not allowing motorists to self report their intoxication status.
     
  24. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    You don’t state that there was a violation. If the driving was “poor” but legal the cop had no justification for making the stop in the first place.
     
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  25. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    It doesn't sound like the cop in the original post did anything wrong.

    A friend of mine did the local "citizens police academy" which includes riding along in a patrol car. He told me that if a person is weaving but stays in the lane the cop can't do anything as long as there is no violation, e.g. speeding, he can't even run the plate, but if the car's tire touches the painted line on the road even once, it can be pulled over. That's in Connecticut; other states may be different.
     
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  26. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The guy had zero alcohol. Zip, nada, none. So there was no odor of alcohol, no slurring, no staggering. The guy refused to do sobriety tests, which are intended to gather evidence to be used against you, not to prove you are not drunk. I would have refused too, it would have been a zero sum game for me, the cop believes you are drunk when he asks you to perform those tests. Even if you pass with flying colors, chances are high you will end up taking the breathalyzer anyway, so you end up at the same point anyway. In most states you are not required to do the field sobriety tests.

    The guy wasn't even close to drunk, the cop screwed up. Covering your *** does not give you the right to deprive someone else of their rights. The OP should file a complaint against this officer for this arrest IMO.

    Calling out bad behavior in a cop does not make one a cop hater or complainer. In fact cops should be policing themselves against behavior like this. It just wastes everyone's time.


    To the OP, you are responsible for your vehicle, no excuses. You brought this interaction on yourself. Allowing your car to run like this can kill someone. Knock it off.
     
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  27. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    Assuming the cop had a partner, I would have handed him my keys, told him what to turn on in the car and stayed with the partner while he proved that it was the car by driving it himself.

    I hate driving next to cars that have all the assists on them while on multi-lane highways because of this very issue.
     
  28. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    And when cop #2 says “no thanks”?
     
  29. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pattern Altitude

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    Since you quoted me, just to be clear, I never said the LEO was a dick, nor did I say he didn't need to pull me over, nor did I blame the car. I stated that it had lane control and I was curious how effective it was. I said it was a PITA because I was held for 20 minutes while he asked me a bunch of questions that were well beyond the scope of either failing to maintain lane or suspected DUI. I said I was willing to take a blood test because, A. I had consumed no alcohol in the prior 24 hours and B. I did not trust a field test. I provided him an opportunity by willingly submitting to a blood test to prove my full sobriety. Just pointing out an innocent thing - rental car with lane centering and playing around a bit (very safely) to see how effective it was can turn into a thing. Similar to the OP's experience.
     
  30. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't know, maybe sitting in the back of the locked cop car without my phone until they get back? It's not any worse than being dragged to the police station, so whatever makes them comfortable.
     
  31. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I called the name, I'll pull it out. IMO, arresting someone is a big deal to the arrestee, doing it to cover butts should never happen. The law should be evidenced based with this stuff. There was evidence of lousy driving here, no more. Arresting for dui was a mistake here, a mistake that should not be taken lightly.
     
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  32. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I dunno, not a lawyer, but it always seems like it's a matter of escalation: cop needs a reason to escalate, sees a car driving erratically and pulls it over. Cop starts the DUI questions, driver blames the car, now cop escalates by requesting a field sobriety test, a test that a sober person might fail, driver refuses and requests the station test. I can see a couple other scenarios: cop accepts the story and issues a ticket for inattentive or reckless driving, or says "turn that stuff off and drve the car yourself." Or driver just says... nothing, "I'm exercising my right to remain silent", and gives the cop no more reason to escalate. No telling what happens then, but at least the driver didn't provide any more self incriminating information.
     
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  33. Daleandee

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    It's wise not to assist the investigators that are investigating you ...
     
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  34. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So, the car was on ''auto pilot'' and was weaving enough to attract attention. In my addled mind I would see that as a car that is not road worthy, that is not able to pass a safety inspection unless the ''auto pilot'' is disabled and marked inop....
     
  35. Country Flier

    Country Flier Line Up and Wait

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    Not true in my state. Suspicion of OWI is a legal traffic stop. Case law included a situation where a guy was observed walking while appearing hammered, but drove fine. Was stopped and arrested/convicted. Case upheld.
     
  36. guest user

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    Agreed. As always, my apologies for not spelling everything out to your satisfaction. For our purposes let's go with there were several examples of failure to maintain lane, which is very common w/ a DUI.

    Seems that I hit a nerve. Sorry about that. However, I must take exception with a couple of things.

    The stereo type of fall down sloppy drunk DUI is not correct. Impairment can happen with very little alcohol. Some people have a very low tolerance for alcohol.

    The cop having suspicion of you being impaired is NOT the same as believing you are drunk. Nor are field sobriety testing merely pro-forma. It is further evidence that will be weighed in deciding next steps.

    I disagree, you are assuming facts not in evidence. Further, it is not 'covering your ***' to proceed to a breathalyzer if they refuse the tests. DUI has a very real possibility of affecting other people's lives. Do you really want to risk someone being hurt because you were afraid of being accused of 'covering your ***' by SGOTI? This person was pulled over because of concerns about their ability to drive. You better believe I don't want them back on the road until all concerns are satisfied. If it delays them, then it delays them.

    Since I disagree w/ your characterization of this interaction, we'll have to agree to disagree in this specific case.

    For the record, though, I completely agree w/ the sentiment.

    Believe it or not, no one dislikes bad cops more than cops. It causes problems on many levels.

    -----------

    This is why my state (SC) has DUAC. Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration. The officer does not have to prove impairment as he does with DUI, merely that there was a legitimate reason for a traffic stop, and that the person driving had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. Believe it or not, plenty of people plead their DUI to DUAC, even with the same fines so that they could answer "NO" to questions related to whether they had ever been arrested for DUI.
     
  37. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not really, although you might be projecting, maybe not. But I'm fine.

    A cop using an imperceptible feeling as a grounds for arrest is probably one of the most dangerous things there is to threaten a citizen with. I disagree with you and if this is the standard that police operate on when they arrest people it needs to change. There should be clear evidence of impairment before a sobriety test is begun. Suspicion with out clear describable signs of impairment should not be a basis for arrest. People are pulled over for crappy driving all the time, most of them are not impaired and good cops don't arrest them for dui.



    You have no clue about this interaction other than what the OP posted, we both read the same account, it blows my mind that you think this guy might have been impaired. He said he hadn't had a drop of alcohol and the breathalyzer proved that. The cop had no evidence to arrest him and was proven wrong. Sounds like you would have been proven wrong too. People don't deserve to have their rights trampled on because you have a suspicion. If there is no articulable evidence of impairment arresting someone is criminal IMO. It's time for this stop.

    Once again, the guy had no alcohol in his system, and this cop failed, big time. He should have written the guy a ticket or warning for failure to maintain his lane, and sent him on his way.

    Ok, It's been an interesting tangent, but I'm done. Have a nice day.
     
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  38. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FWIW, I have no idea how to handle this without looking at all the relevant paperwork. What the documentary record shows is the single most important factor in answering what needs to be disclosed and what does not.

    I know better than to rely on what someone says happened. I know how many laypersons lack enough understanding of the process to even know what happened. The NTSB has been faced with the expunction question a few times. In none of them was there even an expunction! I'm not surprised.
     
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  39. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    The pilot in command is still responsible if the autopilot flies you into a mountain.
     
  40. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    What BS. Simple patrol log notation. Stop for swerving in lane. No odor of alcoholic beverage, motor functions normal, speech normal, eyes normal.cleared without incident.