What may begin as a routine traffic stop, can quickly turn into a DUI charge. That is what one former NFL player recently learned. Former New York Giant and Dallas Cowboy, Elvis Patterson was recently stopped by police for speeding. While stopped, the police officers asked the fifty-one-year-old to take a sobriety test, which he declined on medical grounds.
While the police offers took Patterson's refusal to take a sobriety test as a sign of guilt, Patterson contended he refused the test due to a medical condition. Patterson said he has a condition that would make it impossible to perform the balance and coordination portions of a field sobriety test. Upon reviewing the video recording of the traffic stop, the DUI charge against Patterson was dismissed as the former NFL player wasn't even captured on tape.
Field sobriety tests are voluntary in the state of Washington. This means that while a police officer may ask an individual to perform a sobriety test, it is their right to refuse to take it. In addition to an individual's right of refusal of a sobriety test, there are a number of additional mistakes and misleading comments police officers often make when attempting to charge a driver with DUI.
Individuals facing charges related to DUI would be wise to consult an experienced attorney who knows the laws related to DUI matters. A skilled Washington legal professional may be able to help ensure charges are reduced or dismissed altogether.
Source: Journal-World, "Prosecutors dismiss DUI charge against former KU, pro football player," George Diepenbrock, June 28, 2012