DUTY SHEET AND LESSON PLAN

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1 Volume 7 Program 8 DUI PATROL---WINNING IN COURT DUTY SHEET AND LESSON PLAN Total Program Length 41:12 IN THE LINE OF DUTY is produced exclusively as an interactive sharing resource for the law enforcement community. No commercial use or access to the public at large is permitted without the authorization of L.O.D., Inc. This program contains actual video of real police incidents with no reenactments or simulations. The program is protected by copyright. Reproduction in any form is strictly prohibited without authorization from L.O.D., Inc. This program is designed for informational purposes only. IN THE LINE OF DUTY makes no representation regarding the effectiveness or appropriateness of any action or technique depicted herein. It is not intended to replace or supersede existing training policies or guidelines of individual law enforcement agencies. In the Line of Duty Training videos have received POST approval for continuing education credit for training in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

2 This program is designed to familiarize, or re-familiarize officers with techniques used in DUI stops and those used in the courtroom when testifying in such cases. The material is based on techniques used by the Indianapolis (IN) DUI Task Force. It is a highly successful, pro-active unit which makes about 1,200 DUI arrests a year. We are grateful to this unit for its assistance. DUI Patrol (16:24) The Indianapolis DUI Task Force consists of six officers whose sole job is to look for, test, and if necessary, arrest drunk drivers. The team members have no specific beat, but generally patrol places where drinking is most likely to occur. Using the team in this manner frees other officers in the department for their normal patrol. Task Force officers receive extensive training on conducting various tests, such as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test and breathalyzer testing, to determine if a person is legally intoxicated. It all begins with probable cause and the stop. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test is an important step measuring balance and coordination. The most important aspect of the test is that it is what it says it is, standardized, meaning all officers who conduct the tests do so the same way every time. The officer is encouraged not to rely solely on the test. There can be extenuating circumstances such as medication or disability that might impact a subject s ability to pass the test. Officers are also encouraged to note other signs that the subject may be intoxicated. Such signs include noting the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and an inability to perform simple tasks such as releasing the seat belt, locating a driver s license, or getting out of the car. Officers are advised in the strongest terms to include the most complete details possible about the stop in their report. Failure to have those details at hand in court several months later may jeopardize the case. Note the physical signs observed, and complete details of problems the subject may have with the standardized test so they can be relayed to a jury at the proper time. If a subject falters while performing the heel to toe test, that should be noted with all specifics. This may be even more important if there is no video of the stop. That may often be the case. With or without video, a detailed report is highly advisable. Officers should note that driving may be impaired by drugs other than alcohol. Therefore, there may be no odor. Having a Drug Recognition Expert on staff is advisable in cases like this, where a blood test may be necessary rather than a breathalyzer test. For patrol officers who are not comfortable giving the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, Indianapolis DUI Task Force members recommend that they undergo further training until they are. Officers can find themselves dealing with a drunk driver at any time. 2

3 Making the Case in Court (10:51) This training video focuses on making the DUI case in court. We utilized the services of Springfield, IL attorney John Sharp. He specializes in DUI defense and handles hundreds of such cases every year. While he has many friends in law enforcement, he says he considers it war when he meets officers in the courtroom where he is duty-bound to seek acquittal for his client. The individual officer, says Sharp, can avoid that battle by paying full attention to and recording all detail during the stop and testing so the defense attorney can find little weakness in the case to exploit. Remember, video tape (if you have it) does not show glassy eyes or record the odor of alcohol. If the recording is not clear, it may also not indicate slurred speech. While the Standardized Field Sobriety Test is used by law enforcement all over the country it can hurt an officer s case as well as help. When different officers in one department conduct the test differently than they were trained to do, it provides an opportunity for the defense attorney to discredit the officer s competence or professionalism. Attorney Sharp notes that there will be times when subjects are uncooperative and refuse to submit to testing. If the officer considers the grounds reasonable to take that subject off to jail, he may wind up losing the case in court. At least, he/she has the satisfaction of knowing an impaired driver was taken off the street at the time of that impairment. Allowing someone suspected of impaired driving to drive the vehicle after the stop could result in huge liability consequences if that person goes on to have an accident and hurt or kill someone. In the courtroom itself, there are certain things an officer can do to enhance the case. 1. Dress properly: Officers should always come to court in uniform and look impeccable and professional. That holds great sway with the jury. 2. Be Prepared: The officer should be prepared by having reviewed the report. The defense attorney will look for loopholes in recollection to discredit the officer. The officer should also avoid the trap of trying to memorize a report. If the defense attorney senses that, he will try to confuse the officer and make him look bad by dealing with issues outside of chronological order. 3. Be forthright: The officer will win points with the judge and jury by being forthright, direct, and avoids giving the impression he/she is holding something back. Even if the officer has to admit something that may make him look bad, he has a greater chance of success with the jury by admitting that and moving on rather than hedge. 3

4 4. Control the Ego: It is sometimes difficult for officers to remain professional if they feel their integrity is being challenged by a pesky, possibly obnoxious defense attorney. Don t let ego interfere with the job at hand. An officer who is lured by the attorney to appear nervous, aggressive, explosive, or who displays negative body language plays into the lawyer s hands and loses points with the jury. 5. Be prepared to demonstrate: The defense may try to trip you up and make you look bad by asking you to demonstrate the tests you gave the client. Be aware of this and practice. If you do not perform the test well the jury might well wonder why the defendant should have been expected to. Epilog (:35) Attorneys across the country who specialize in DUI cases are encouraging more clients charged with DUI to take the case to court rather than plead because they feel chances of winning the case are improving. It s because the laws have changed so often in every state over the last decade that it is difficult for law enforcement officers to keep up. The most successful technique used by lawyers is to suggest that the initial stop was illegal. Questions (1:14) 1. How well do you keep up with changes in the DUI laws in your jurisdiction? 2. Are you aware of roadway conditions which might cause a suspected DUI driver to drive erratically? 3. How certain are you that every stop you make is a legal stop? 4. Are you always certain your video will help prove your case? 5. Do you do the standardized field sobriety test the same way every time and do other officers in your department do it the same way? 6. Discuss how to best use your video camera during a DUI stop. 7. How detailed are your reports? 8. Discuss your last court appearance and how it could be improved. 9. Discuss means of determining whether alcohol or other drugs are involved in an impaired driving scenario and whether it is important to distinguish the difference. 10. How likely are you to allow a defense attorney to rattle you on the stand? 4

5 VOLUME 7, PROGRAM 8 LESSON PLAN SYNOPSIS: TIME: OBJECTIVES: Obj. A Obj. B This program deals with DUI patrol, the do s and don ts for successful prosecution both on the street and in the courtroom. One hour Upon completion of this course, officers should have a better understanding of how to make the case when stopping a DUI suspect. Know how to act on the street during a DUI stop. Know how to act in the courtroom when prosecuting the case. INSTRUCTOR S NOTES LAB GUIDE Obj. A 1. The stop a. Make certain probable cause is solid. Otherwise it may kill your case in court. b. Standardized Field Sobriety Test. It measures the subject s balance and coordination. c. It must be standardized. All officers in each department must give that test as they learned it. d. Don t rely on it totally. e. Medication or disability may affect a subject s ability to perform some of those tasks. f. Note other signs, such as odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, slurred speech. g. Note all important details in the report. h. Officers will be asked weeks or months later to recall the incident. A detailed report helps, especially if there is no video, and may cause a defense attorney to plead rather than go to court. 5

6 i. If you have video, don t rely on it totally. It can not always show symptoms of intoxication clearly. Supplement with your own reported detail. j. Be aware that other drugs are out there and can cause impaired driving. Drug Recognition Experts can help in this area. k. All patrol officers should make themselves comfortable giving the Standardized Test. l. If they are not now, they should consider refresher training. Obj. B 2. Making the case in court. a. Defense lawyers consider it going to war when they go to court. b. Reports which are complete in detail are more likely to cause an attorney to plead rather than take a chance in court. c. Detail fully even when there is video and especially if you do not have video d. Video can t show everything. e. Video can show officer mistakes. f. Standardized Field Sobriety Tests can help the defense if they are not given the way officers were trained to give them. g. This can be used to discredit the officer. h. In the courtroom Officers should A Dress properly and be professional. B Be prepared with complete review of case and details. C Defense attorney will look for gaps in officer s recall. D Be forthright and admit mistakes. E Control the Ego. Do not take defense attorney s attacks personally or to goad you into looking nervous, aggressive or out of control in any sense. F Be prepared to demonstrate the field tests you give. G Your failure to perform the test adequately can be an excuse for the defendant s not having done well. 6

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