This should be subtitled “You want the good news or the bad news?”.
Yet once again, I worked a little OT the other nite (19 1/2 hour days are wicked long, by the way). Part of my OT was simple seatbelt enforcement (thank you CA for the grant money). The last part was DUI enforcement. Luckily, I was doubled up in a car with a partner, so I didn’t drive my car into a tree while asleep at the wheel.
We actually had a very entertaining evening. The first of our customers came to our attention while we were sitting on a stop sign waiting for Johnny/Janey Drunkard to come tooling along and not stop…affectionately known as PC (Probable Cause). We saw a car riding the ass of the car immediately in front of it. Suddenly, the rear car pulled to the left and began driving parallel to the first car.
I saw the passenger yelling out the window at the first car. Close enough for government work. We pulled out and stopped the driver of the second car. I walked up and contacted the driver. Obvious smell of an alcoholic beverage (never say smell of alcohol, by the way, as it has no scent) came a-tumbling from the open driver’s window. There’s a front seat passenger as well. I asked the standard, “Hey, how much have you had to drink tonite?” I received the usual, “A couple of beers.”
**Quick aside** I’d venture to guess that of all the DUI’s I’ve investigated in the past five years, probably 85% of them answer “a couple (insert beverage of choice here). Bizarre.
Back to the fun. I pulled dude out of the car and bounced his eyes out (gentle euphemism, don’t worry, I didn’t actually remove his gelatinous orbs from his skull holes). “Bouncing his eyes” refers to Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). Layman’s terms, its basically watching how the eyes track back and forth following a single point of stimulus (e.g. pen or fingertip). HGN is the first thing I do. It gives me a sense of just how in the bag the driver may be. His eyes didn’t track as smoothly as I’d like if I was just gonna cut him loose, so on with the FSTs (Field Sobriety Tests).
Long story, short, I ran him through the battery of tests and he was doing passably decent. However, prior to me conducting the FSTs, he overheard my partner and I talking about the warrant he had. I had to do a little tap dance to try and get him to forget about that little detail while I conducted my investigation. Eventually, I think he focused on what he needed to do, because his FSTs didn’t completely suck.
The last thing I had him do was blow in the PAS (Preliminary Alcohol Screening device). It’s more or less a field level breathalyzer for lack of a better term (and since I’m not testifying or anything). He blew a 0.029. I love the PAS. It takes a lot of guess work out of DUIs.
I told the driver, “Hey, man, you’re actually not DUI.” He briefly got a look of relief across his mug and said, “My buddy had a lot more to drink than me.” I agreed with him and said, “Unfortunately, you’ve got a $90,000 warrant for your arrest for some drug charges. Sorry, dude.” I tried the “look at the bright side” argument, but I don’t think he was diggin’ on it. Probably because he saw his car mate for the ride to jail was the town drunk and drunk guy was on his game.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have had illegal drugs on his person a year ago. Just a thought, reactionary as it may be.