STATE v. J.E.
Synopsis: Client was stopped for allegedly exceeding the speed limit by greater than 30mph. Arresting officer testified that the client exhibited signs of impairment that included slurred and slow speech, clues on the SFSTs, including 6 clues on HGN as well as difficulty with completing the ABCs. Client was subsequently arrested for suspicion of OUI and subsequently refused to submit to a breath test.
Client testified in his defense and was found to be a reliable and credible witness. Client testified as to being legally blind in one eye which disqualified him as a candidate for HGN and upon hearing his speech pattern, it was determined that the slurred speech the officer observed was just a nuance of his particular speech pattern. Client further testified to chemicals that he was exposed to during the course of his employment which mimicked the odor of alcohol and was present on his clothing on the day of the stop.
Result: Following a lengthy hearing before the BMV, the 9 month administrative suspension was dismissed for a lack of probable cause to believe the client was operating a motor vehicle under the influence.