What safety tips can you share with officers who may be conducting standardized field sobriety tests this holiday weekend?
After you've shared your tips, be sure to check out JP Molnar's alcohol enforcement advice on LawOfficer.com:
Like any interview you conduct with a suspect, the officer needs to maintain respect. Thus; on DUI traffic stops, the officer needs to maintain a positive rapport with the individual they have stopped since various field sobriety tests (FST) will be conducted on them. As a result, officers in these situations may neglect to conduct standard safety steps in fear that they may offend the suspect. However, I believe officers can maintain respect with the suspect by explaining the importance of these safety procedures, such as pat downs, to ensure everyone’s safety.
From my experience, officers will often fail to conduct a pat down to ensure the driver is not in possession of any weapons and or dangerous items prior to doing FST’s. This is certainly dangerous considering the close proximity the officer will be with the suspect as they give the instructions and demonstration of the FST’s.
On another note, it is rather absurd how difficult the legislators have made DUI laws that overwhelmingly favor the defendant throughout the United States. There are far too many loop holes and elements that need to be satisfied in order to obtain a DUI conviction. Sadly, I find major felonies such as Burglaries and Robberies easier crimes to obtain convictions than DUI’s.