State of Texas v. A.A. - Dismissed on January 20, 2010
At approximately 2:45am on October 17, 2009, Client was driving home after a work function at a local bar. Client was stopped for making an illegal left turn from Westheimer on to Shepherd in Houston, Texas. The officer reports that he observed an odor of alcohol, red/glassy eyes, and slurred speech. The officer further reports that Client was unsteady when walking and turning and that her balance was fair. When asked whether she had anything to drink, Client admitted to one vodka. The officer asked Client to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and observed all 6 clues on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Tests. On the One Leg Stand Test the officer observed the following 3 clues: Client swayed, used arms for balance, and hops. On the Walk and Turn Test the officer observed the following 3 clues: starts too soon, missed heel to toe, and improper turn. Client refused to take a breath test.
After viewing the video I observed Client to appear completely normal. I also observed Client to perform all Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in a satisfactory manner. Client was wearing a short dress and no shoes, with no jacket. Client complained that she was freezing, the temperature was 62 degrees. Client's performance was not perfect, but perfection is not required. I did not observe any sway on the HGN. On the One Leg Stand I observed Client hold her foot up until the count of 20 before hopping to regain her balance. On the Walk and Turn Test I observed the Client to walk perfectly down the line and back, Client did perform an improper turn, and you could not see on the video if Client missed heel to toe. As for "starts to soon" the officer compromised the test by moving Client to another position after the instruction phase and before beginning the Test.
I gave the District Attorney two choices: 1) set the case for a jury trial and attempt to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Client did not have the normal use of her mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol into her body; or 2) dismiss the case.
(Another client, whose case was also dismissed, was stopped for making an illegal turn at the same location; and I have been stopped for making that same illegal turn, it's the quickest way to get to 59)