Posts Tagged ‘International Association of Chiefs of Police’

Ohio OVI Law: Impairment by Drugs

March 29th, 2013

Ohio is making the transition to using the Drug Recognition Expert protocol in apprehending and prosecuting impaired drivers.   DRE refers not only to the officers themselves, but to the 12-step procedure that these officers use. DRE was developed by police officers from the Los Angeles (California) Police Department. In 1979, the Drug Recognition program received the official recognition of the LAPD.  On October 22, 2010, Ohio became the 48th state to be accepted into the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP).

Once approved by the IACP’s DECP Highway Safety Committee, Ohio was eligible to provide the DRE training.  Ohio graduated their first DRE class in October, 2011.  “I am pleased this training is being offered to our law enforcement partners,” said Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) Executive Director Karhlton Moore. “This will be an invaluable resource in our fight to curb impaired driving, as well as focus on emerging issues such as the prescription drug epidemic currently affecting so many communities across Ohio.” [Source]  In July, I spoke with Sgt. Wes Stought of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who oversees the Ohio DRE program at the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association.  He states that the program is moving forward with a goal of full implementation in every county.

The DRE program is a traffic-safety program that focuses on the detection, apprehension and adjudication of drug-impaired drivers. A DRE is a police officer who is trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. A DRE undergoes specialized training in detecting and identifying the category or categories of drugs causing the impairment. The process is based on observable signs and symptoms that are known to be reliable indicators of drug impairment.

12 Steps of the Drug Evaluation Process

  1. Breath Alcohol Test – A sample of breath is taken from the test subject to determine the concentration of alcohol, if any, in the test subject.
  2. Interview of Arresting Officer – The DRE consults with the investigator(s) to determine the circumstances leading up to the apprehension of the test subject.
  3. Preliminary Examination – Initial examination of the subject. Some questions are asked in relation to the subject’s medical/physical limitations.
  4. Eye Examination – Eyes are examined for pupils being equal, the ability of the eyes to track a stimulus equally, to monitor the smoothness of that tracking, to look for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, as well as Vertical Gaze Nystagmus.
  5. Divided Attention Tests – One Leg Stand is done with both legs. Walk and Turn test is done. Modified Romberg Balance test. And Finger to Nose test is done.
  6. Examination of Vital Signs – Blood pressure, pulse and body temperature is taken.
  7. Dark Room Examinations – Examination of the pupil sizes in near total darkness, under direct light, and in normal room light. Examination of the oral and nasal cavities are done at the same time.
  8. Examination of Muscle Tone – Flexion and Extension of the muscles are tested, to see if there is flaccidity, or rigidity of the muscles.
  9. Examination of Injection Sites – Examination of common injection sites to determine if the subject is using injected substances.
  10. Suspects Statements / Other Observations – Soliciting information from the test subject which will corroborate signs and symptoms that the evaluator has observed.
  11. Opinion of the Evaluator – The DRE makes a determination of the class or classes of drugs that a subject is under the influence based on a matrix of symptomology that has been developed during studies of subjects under the influence of known classes of drugs.
  12. The Toxicological Examination – Blood, saliva or urine is obtained by demand, which is analyzed to determine what class of substances are present that corroborates the DRE’s opinion.

7 Drug Categories

  1. Central Nervous System Depressants
  2. Inhalants
  3. Dissociative Anesthetics
  4. Cannabis
  5. Central Nervous System Stimulants
  6. Hallucinogens
  7. Narcotic Analgesics

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He regularly appears in courts in courts in FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboroHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI Defense

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: The One Leg Stand Test

October 11th, 2012

English: Bridget Sloan performs on the balance...

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) are a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. These tests were developed as a result of research sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and conducted by the Southern California Research Institute. A formal program of training was developed and is available through NHTSA to help law enforcement officers become more skillful at detecting DWI suspects, describing the behavior of these suspects, and presenting effective testimony in court. Formal administration and accreditation of the program is provided through the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The three tests of the SFST are:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN),
  • Walk-and-Turn (WAT),
  • and One-Leg Stand (OLS).

These tests are administered systematically and are evaluated according to measured responses of the suspect.  Ohio Revised Code 4511.19(D)(4)(b) sets forth the standards for admissibility of the results of field sobriety tests in OVI (drunk driving) prosecutions.  See State v. Bozcar, 113 Ohio St. 3d 148, 2007-Ohio-1251, 863 N.E.2d 115 (2007).  In order for the tests to be admissible, the State must demonstrate:

  1. By clear and convincing evidence.
  2. The Officer administered the tests insubstantial compliance.
  3. The testing standards for any reliable, credible, and generally accepted test.
  4. Including, but not limited to, the standards set by NHTSA.

The only guidance provided for determining the meaning of “substantial compliance” has come from State v. Burnside, 100 Ohio St. 3d 152, 2003-Ohio-5372 (2003), wherein the court indicated that errors that are clearly “de minimus” or “minor procedural deviations” are not substantial.  Thus, the State must set forth the testing standards, offer some testimony that the testing standards have been accepted and that the officer has substantially complied.  If the State fails to introduce testimonial or documentary evidence of the standards (most likely via the NHTSA training manual), then they have not met this burden. See Village of Gates Mills v. Mace, 2005-Ohio-2191 (Ohio Ct. App. 8th Dist., Cuyahoga County), wherein the State did not meet this burden despite the Court having its own copy of the manual.

The validity of SFST results is dependent upon practitioners following the established, standardized procedures for test administration and scoring. NHTSA’s SFST Student Manualstates that the procedures demonstrated in the training program describe how SFSTs should be administered under ideal conditions, but that ideal conditions do not always exist in the field. Variations from ideal conditions, and deviations from the standardized procedures, might affect the evidentiary weight that should be given to test results.  Perhaps the most important statement about standardization can be found at VIII-19 which states:

IT IS NECESSARY TO EMPHASIZE THIS VALIDATION APPLIES ONLY WHEN:

  • THE TESTS ARE ADMINISTERED IN THE PRESCRIBED STANDARDIZED MANNER
  • THE STANDARDIZED CLUES ARE USED TO ASSESS THE SUSPECT’S PERFORMANCE
  • THE STANDARDIZED CRITERIA ARE EMPLOYED TO INTERPRET THAT PERFORMANCE

IF ANY ONE OF THE STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TEST ELEMENTS IS CHANGED THE VALIDITY IS COMPROMISED.

I have not added capitalization or bold to emphasize the importance of this warning.  The manual itself uses these indicia of importance at VIII-19.  Use this portion of the manual in conjunction with the State’s burden of proof (The State must demonstrate substantial compliance with the NHTSA manual by clear and convincing evidence) and you have some compelling arguments to make to the trier of fact.

THE ONE-LEG STAND TEST

In the One-Leg Stand test, the suspect is instructed to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground and count aloud by thousands (One thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) until told to put the foot down. The officer times the subject for 30 seconds. The officer looks for four indicators of impairment, including swaying while balancing, using arms to balance, hopping to maintain balance, and putting the foot down. NHTSA research indicates that 83 percent of individuals who exhibit two or more such indicators in the performance of the test will have a BAC of 0.08 of greater (Stuster and Burns, 1998).  As stated above, the validity One-Leg Stand results are dependent upon law enforcement officers following the established, standardized procedures for test administration and scoring.  The criteria to establish a proper One-Leg Stand test are set forth in the NHTSA manaual as follows:

  • Requirement of a reasonably dry, hard, level, and non-slippery surface.
  • Is the individual over 65 years of age? Did officer question whether individual was over 65 years of age?
  • Did officer ask the individual whether he or she has any back, leg or middle ear problems?
  • Did the officer check to see whether the suspect was overweight by 50 or more pounds?
  • Did the officer check to see whether individual is wearing heels more than 2” high and if so, did he give them the opportunity to remove their shoes?
  • “Please stand with your feet together and your arms down at the sides, like this.” (Demonstrate)
  • “Do not start to perform the test until I tell you to do so.”
  • “Do you understand the instructions so far? (Make sure suspect indicates understanding).”
  • “When I tell you to start, raise one leg, either leg, with the foot approximately 6 inches off the ground, keeping your raised foot parallel to the ground.” (Demonstrate one-leg stance.)
  • “You must keep both legs straight, arms at your side.”
  • “While holding that position, count out loud in the following manner: one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, until told to stop.”
  • Demonstrate a count as follows: one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, etc.
  • “Officer should not look at his foot when conducting the demonstration” – OFFICER SAFETY
  • “Keep you arms at your sides at all times and keep watching the raised foot.”
  • “Do you understand?” (Make sure the suspect indicates understanding.)
  • “Go ahead and perform the test.”
  • “Officer should always time the 30 seconds. Test should be discontinued after 30 seconds.”
  • Observe the suspect from a safe distance.
  • “If the suspect puts the foot down, give instructions to pick the foot up again and continue counting from the point at which the foot touched the ground.”
  • “If the suspect counts very slowly, terminate the test after 30 seconds.”
  • “Observe the suspect from a safe distance and remain as motionless as possible during the test so as not to interfere.”

Information obtained from www.nhtsa.gov and is considered public information provided at www.ohiopd.com

 SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Recall the one-leg stand test’s four indicators of impairment:

  1. swaying while balancing,
  2. using arms to balance,
  3. hopping to maintain balance, and
  4. putting the foot down.

The One-leg stand test requires your body to something unnatural; maintain a rigid body structure while precariously balanced.   The most natural reaction to being on one foot is to sway to find your center of gravity while lifting your arms like a tightrope walker.   Why do humans do this?  This technique provides several advantages. It distributes mass away from the pivot point and moves the center of mass out. This reduces angular velocity because her center of mass is now swinging through a longer arc. It takes longer to sweep out the same angle because the center of mass has a longer distance to go. The result is less tipping.  Millions of years of evolution have designed complex vestibular systems and wired our brains to act this way.  Unfortunately, swaying and holding your arms out will be counted as indicators of impairment according to the government.  As any skipping child will tell you, hopping is an instinctive way to quickly correct the body when attempting to locate the center of gravity. Again law enforcement uses natrual and  instinctive behavior to allege intoxication.  As documented in other articles on this blog, overweight people, older people, arthritic people and the simply uncoordinated may have trouble immediately finding and maintaining balance under ideal and fair conditions.  However law enforcement will unfairly count putting a foot down as an indicator of impairment.  It is up to your attorney to make a compelling defense against the use of this biased and unfair test to demonstrate that you were impaired.

Not only does the one-leg stand test require y0u to behave in an unnatural way, understanding its defects requires a jury to act in a unnatural way.  For example, if you see me trip over a crack in the sidewalk, you would consider me to be clumsy or uncoordinated.  If, however, you trip over a crack in the sidewalk you are much more likely to blame the crack.  The same is true for most people. This discrepancy is called the actor–observer bias.  In social psychology, thefundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior of others. It does not explain interpretations of one’s own behavior—where situational factors are often taken into consideration.  This bias can be devastating in a DUI trial when jurors are asked to consider your performance on field sobriety tests.  They will view the actions with a “bias” that they do not know they have.  Furthermore, they use this error to exclude factors of vital importance to both the scientific validity of the tests and your factual innocence.  For instance, jurors may under-value situational factors such as anxiety, lack of sleep, inherent lack of coordination, passing cars, environmental factors etc.  When we look at some of the underlying assumptions of the fundamental attribution error, we see some scary stuff that we, as advocates, must point out and overcome.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI

Standardization Vital to Validity of Field Tests

August 12th, 2011

The Importance of Standardization

The validity of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests results is dependent upon practitioners following the established, standardized procedures for test administration and scoring. NHTSA’s SFST Student Manual states that the procedures demonstrated in the training program describe how SFSTs should be administered under ideal conditions, but that ideal conditions do not always exist in the field. Variations from ideal conditions, and deviations from the standardized procedures, might affect the evidentiary weight that should be given to test results.

Courts in several states have reviewed the admissibility of field sobriety tests that assess physical coordination and have held that deviations in the administration of the tests should not result in the suppression of test results. These courts have found that field sobriety tests, including the Walk-and-Turn and the One-Leg-Stand of the SFST battery, are simple physical dexterity exercises that can be interpreted by an officer in the field, and by others in a court of law. However, courts have ruled that the admissibility of the HGN test may be treated differently due to its “scientific nature.” For this reason, HGN results are vulnerable to challenge, and likely to be excluded by the court, if the test was not administered in strict compliance with established protocols.

Other states have been even less accommodating to deviations from the standardized procedures. In particular, the Ohio State Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers have no discretion in the administration of SFSTs. In a four-to-two decision, the Ohio State Supreme Court held in State v. Homan, 732 N.E.2d 952 (Ohio 2000), that Standardized Field Sobriety Tests conducted in a manner that departs from the methods established by NHTSA “are inherently unreliable” and thus inadmissible.

The SFST battery is composed of three separate tests with three independent predictive validities that range from 79 to 88 percent. Depending on the physical characteristics of the subject and roadside conditions, an officer might choose to refrain from administering the entire SFST battery, as directed by the training materials (e.g., a leg injury that might affect a person’s ability to perform the OLS test). Because an officer is permitted the discretion to withhold a test, it is reasonable to question why a deviation in the administration of one of the three tests would disqualify the entire battery. Although it is not recommended to do so under ideal conditions, the data show that accurate arrest decisions reliably can be made on the basis of two of the SFSTs, or on the basis of HGN test results, alone.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) adopted uniform procedures in 1992 to guide the training of SFST instructors and practitioners. Those standards include 24-hours of NHTSA-approved SFST instruction. The procedures for administering and interpreting SFST results can be readily learned and, generally, proficiency increases with experience. However, it is possible for SFST skills to degrade if they are not exercised regularly (e.g., during a prolonged absence from patrol work). Also, the SFST procedures have evolved since they were first developed in 1981. Modifications to the standardized procedures could result in an officer administering SFSTs according to outdated protocols.5 For these reasons, NHTSA recommends that law enforcement agencies conduct refresher training for SFST instructors and practitioners.

Dayton DUI defense attorney Charles Rowland provides complete defense to the accused drunk driver. He is certified in administering and evaluating the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and is the only Ohio attorney to be FSA certified.  Visit www.DaytonDUI.com or contact 937-318-1DIU (318-1384), 1-888-ROWLAND or text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

May 19th, 2011
police lights at night

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. These tests were developed as a result of research sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and conducted by the Southern California Research Institute. A formal program of training was developed and is available through NHTSA to help law enforcement officers become more skillful at detecting DWI suspects, describing the behavior of these suspects, and presenting effective testimony in court. Formal administration and accreditation of the program is provided through the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The three tests of the SFST are:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN),
  • Walk-and-Turn (WAT),
  • and One-Leg Stand (OLS).

These tests are administered systematically and are evaluated according to measured responses of the suspect.

HGN Testing

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is an involuntary jerking of the eye that occurs naturally as the eyes gaze to the side. Under normal circumstances, nystagmus occurs when the eyes are rotated at high peripheral angles. However, when a person is impaired by alcohol, nystagmus is exaggerated and may occur at lesser angles. An alcohol-impaired person will also often have difficulty smoothly tracking a moving object. In the HGN test, the officer observes the eyes of a suspect as the suspect follows a slowly moving object such as a pen or small flashlight, horizontally with his or her eyes. The examiner looks for three indicators of impairment in each eye: if the eye cannot follow a moving object smoothly, if jerking is distinct when the eye is at maximum deviation, and if the angle of onset of jerking is within 45 degrees of center. If, between the two eyes, four or more clues appear, the suspect likely has a BAC of 0.08 or greater. NHTSA research found that this test allows proper classification of approximately 88 percent of suspects (Stuster and Burns, 1998). HGN may also indicate consumption of seizure medications, phencyclidine, a variety of inhalants, barbiturates, and other depressants.

Walk and Turn

The Walk-and-Turn test and One-Leg Stand test are “divided attention” tests that are easily performed by most unimpaired people. They require a suspect to listen to and follow instructions while performing simple physical movements. Impaired persons have difficulty with tasks requiring their attention to be divided between simple mental and physical exercises.

In the Walk-and-Turn test, the subject is directed to take nine steps, heel-to-toe, along a straight line. After taking the steps, the suspect must turn on one foot and return in the same manner in the opposite direction. The examiner looks for eight indicators of impairment: if the suspect cannot keep balance while listening to the instructions, begins before the instructions are finished, stops while walking to regain balance, does not touch heel-to-toe, steps off the line, uses arms to balance, makes an improper turn, or takes an incorrect number of steps. NHTSA research indicates that 79 percent of individuals who exhibit two or more indicators in the performance of the test will have a BAC of 0.08 or greater (Stuster and Burns, 1998).

One Leg Stand

In the One-Leg Stand test, the suspect is instructed to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground and count aloud by thousands (One thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) until told to put the foot down. The officer times the subject for 30 seconds. The officer looks for four indicators of impairment, including swaying while balancing, using arms to balance, hopping to maintain balance, and putting the foot down. NHTSA research indicates that 83 percent of individuals who exhibit two or more such indicators in the performance of the test will have a BAC of 0.08 of greater (Stuster and Burns, 1998).

If you are arrested under suspicion of drunk driving, make sure you hire an attorney who understands the standardized field sobriety tests.  Your case may hinge on your attorney’s ability to recognize a deviation from the normal administration of one (or all) of the coordination tests.  Ohio DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II has received the same NHTSA training as law enforcement officers receive and is qualified to administer and evaluate both your performance on the tests and the officers conduct in administering the tests.  You can contact Charles M. Rowland II at 937-318-1DUI.

For more information on standardized field sobriety testing see the free government resource from which the above was taken, HERE.