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04-19-11, 10:41 AM #1
Ohio woman's age a factor in Pa. judge's decision to toss DUI case
PULASKI, Pa. (AP) — An Ohio woman's DUI charge was tossed out by a Pennsylvania judge who says the woman was too old to submit to a field sobriety test she failed after being involved in a collision last year.
Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Dominick Motto last month dismissed the charges against 60-year-old Danniel Weaver, of Youngstown.
WTAE-TV reports Weaver had just been involved in a crash in Pulaski Township in February 2010 when she was asked to perform four field sobriety tests. Weaver, then 59, passed three tests but failed one that required her to stand on one leg.
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04-19-11, 12:06 PM #2
So much for equal protection under the law.
04-19-11, 02:59 PM #3The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of WarVerified LEO
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Actually, the SFSTs are not validated in older drivers; I'm not sure off the top of my head exactly where the line is, and it has been quite a well since they were examined, I think. The validation research suggested that at least some people had difficulty with the tests even if sober due to age-related balance issues or infirmity...
Personally -- I'll ask anyone about problems, especially with their back, knees, or balance, and take that into consideration as I do the tests.Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.
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04-19-11, 07:00 PM #4
Wow, this does surprise me. I'm a certified SFST instructor and it usually isn't recommended for use after a crash.
I would love to know the other issues from the incident, there wasn't much listed in the article. I am highly surprised that the prosecutor was unable to better argue the totality of the circumstances, i.e. the crash, the observations of the woman's behavior by the officer, the odor of an alcoholic beverage and especially a BAC.
Considering that PA only requires a .05% BAC for a DUI arrest in a crash, I would think that the mere presence of an odor of an alcoholic beverage in combination with the crash would be enough for request for a blood or breath test.
This is some BAD case law.Remembering Officer Richard Phelps, Lemoyne (PA) PD, EOW- 7/11/89
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