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Old 03-18-12, 06:44 AM   #1
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Field Sobriety Test

Did my first ever heel-to-toe shuffle last night. Greenville's finest were snagging lots of St. Paddy's Day revelers. I passed. It pays to drink quality over quantity. Glad I didn't have to blow. Although I likely would've been fine there too. Still somewhat degrading even though I knew I was ok to drive.

Anyone else get to touch their nose and do the balance on one foot routine?
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Old 03-18-12, 09:06 AM   #2
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Not yesterday.

And it is humiliating but effective. Fear of DUI arrest and conviction helps suppress drunken driving.

Glad you passed.
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Old 03-18-12, 09:40 AM   #3
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Here in B.C. they get you to blow into a roadside device and if you're over 0.05 they borrow your car for a week, take your license for 24 hours and then the fun starts. If you danced the dance before it's even more fun.
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Old 03-18-12, 09:43 AM   #4
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Wow...0.05?! Sniffing the cork would put you over.
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Old 03-18-12, 10:16 AM   #5
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Once in my Johnboat. They said I passed when I was able to get out without falling. Then they gave me a lecture about boating at night without lights. I didn't think I needed my running lights on when I was drifting with the current.
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Old 03-18-12, 10:53 AM   #6
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Once in my Johnboat. They said I passed when I was able to get out without falling. Then they gave me a lecture about boating at night without lights. I didn't think I needed my running lights on when I was drifting with the current.
In navigable waters? I guess this is just another example of your unique right to your username.
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...ixnay on the exsay alktay.
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Old 03-18-12, 11:01 AM   #7
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i went to ask.com with 'how does a breathalyzer work?'
fascinating. re the 'personal' models you are lead to
do all your buddies so 'everyone gets home safe and
legal'. ok, but do these use one-time use cartridges or
a straight electronic reading? and what about re-calibrating?
an ad popped up on the side and the meter display read 02.
couldn't make out where the decimal was.
reminds me of glucose meter ads in which the readout is
always 105. i perceive that more as wishful thinking (as per-
tains to me) than fact.
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Old 03-18-12, 11:06 AM   #8
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You play . . .you pay.

Anyone getting nabbed DUI needs to be prosecuted fully.

That's right, I do not drink. My dad did enough drinking to ruin three families lives while he continued to live and splash the vodka over his tongue on a daily basis until crap-faced at noon. I was smart enough to see the irresponsibility involved in DUI. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
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Old 03-18-12, 01:59 PM   #9
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In navigable waters? I guess this is just another example of your unique right to your username.
But of course. Anything else would very likely be trespassing.

The incident took place in this boat at this launch. There were only two other boats out that night. They were bowfishing for carp.

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Old 03-18-12, 02:05 PM   #10
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I should mention that there are rivers in West Virginia which are "navigable waters" by US govt definition, but they will charge you with trespassing if you put your foot on the bottom of the river.
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Old 03-18-12, 02:33 PM   #11
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Well I guess what I meant by navigable is a river that would carry a big vessel that couldn't turn quick enough to avoid a small slow craft or a body of water with fast traffic.

And as for the trespassing I know some guys that camped on a sandbar on the Ogeechee river here in GA and were seriously prosecuted by the "land owner". When the Yadkin river in NC dried up 7 years ago Alcoa was prosecuting people that walked down to the little stream that was all that was left of High Rock lake.
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Old 03-18-12, 03:39 PM   #12
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I've never had to do that but I did go through a road block with an open bottle of champagne once. That was right after I moved to Dallas when that was perfectly legal, and we went through a road block where they were checking every one looking for intoxicated drivers. I'd had less than half a glass and the officer thanked us for our patience.

Another time I made a dumb mistake in front of a cop on a Friday night, and turned too sharp when I got surprised by a car that was going much faster than originally estimated and ended up on the wrong side of the median right in front of an overzealous county sheriff. First he told me I was going to jail for DUI without taking any testing. Then he said that all of us in the car (there were 2 couples in the car) were going to jail for DUI when my exwife pointed out I wasn't drunk (I'd had 2 beers and a spicy dinner over the course of about 3 hours then) unless we had someone with us that hadn't been drinking at all. The other wife was short and 2 weeks shy of having a huge baby, and when she hauled herself out of the backseat the sheriff suddenly became much more friendly and sent us all on our way.
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Old 03-18-12, 04:29 PM   #13
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I've been through roadside sobriety checkpoints, but always just get waved through. I almost never have more than one drink when I go out. I've never even had to worry that I wasn't safe to drive.
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Old 03-18-12, 05:17 PM   #14
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I was out with some friends, stopping at bars here and there. Last bar was next to a police station. We were drunk as hell and decided not to risk it. We walked over to the Police Station and told the officer there we could not drive, but we were afraid of falling asleep on the car and getting robbed. The fine officer let us nap on the floor (out side the cell BTW), moved our car into the station's parking lot (not the impounded lot), gave us some coffee when we woke up and verified we would give legal readings on the breath thingie before letting us go our merry way.

That was 20 years ago. Now being drunk in public would have gotten us all in trouble.
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Old 03-18-12, 06:54 PM   #15
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I was out with some friends, stopping at bars here and there. Last bar was next to a police station. We were drunk as hell and decided not to risk it. We walked over to the Police Station and told the officer there we could not drive, but we were afraid of falling asleep on the car and getting robbed. The fine officer let us nap on the floor (out side the cell BTW), moved our car into the station's parking lot (not the impounded lot), gave us some coffee when we woke up and verified we would give legal readings on the breath thingie before letting us go our merry way.

That was 20 years ago. Now being drunk in public would have gotten us all in trouble.
It's relative.

Think about ole Otis that lived in Mayberry. NC and would get all unfit for duty then stagger into the cell while ole Andy would "chastise" ole Barney for being such a dweeb and Barneyed shuck an Jive fit to a monkey.

And in the background ole Otis whoulda looked up, assessed the situation and scampered away quietly.

Lordie those were Good Times.

My, my, my.
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Old 03-18-12, 07:00 PM   #16
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In the early 90s I figured the risk wasn't worth it and quit drinking. I never liked the taste of alcohol anyways.
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Old 03-18-12, 07:56 PM   #17
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I couldn't pass those field sobirety tests on a sober day...just sayin'. The slight lisp when I talk wouldn't help none either.
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Old 03-18-12, 08:50 PM   #18
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But of course. Anything else would very likely be trespassing.

The incident took place in this boat at this launch. There were only two other boats out that night. They were bowfishing for carp.

It depends greatly on your OAL. Most states, 12' or under need no nav lights, 12-16' need a flashlight, 16' and over need proper red and green running lights with a white stern light. There are also allowences made for powered vs. non-powered. If you had a motor but it wasn't running and you require running lights, then you also need to display the "not under command" light signal required under the Inland rules.

"Navigable" is not up for definition, it is any body of water large enough to carry a vessel of *any* size. An innertube might skate by, but not a jonboat with a motor. Tolerably damp lawn will suffice if the prosecutor is well-versed in admiralty law and has a ***** for the case.

Please notice my username. It is earned.

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Old 03-18-12, 08:57 PM   #19
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I should mention that there are rivers in West Virginia which are "navigable waters" by US govt definition, but they will charge you with trespassing if you put your foot on the bottom of the river.
If they are tributaries of the Mississippi, then this charge will not stick. You have right of tresspass up to 12' above the mean high-water mark of any tributary of a Western River. You do not have a right to the mineral rights and you do not have right to squat, or camp, but you very certainly have right of free passage through. Hire a lawyer who can argue wrack-rights.

The precedent is that "The oceans are free for the passage of all," and any tributary that directly (no matter how distant) leads to a buoyed channel that eventually becomes ocean is part of this description. The 12' part comes in to compensate for tidal range.

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Old 03-19-12, 08:15 AM   #20
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It depends greatly on your OAL. Most states, 12' or under need no nav lights, 12-16' need a flashlight, 16' and over need proper red and green running lights with a white stern light. There are also allowences made for powered vs. non-powered. If you had a motor but it wasn't running and you require running lights, then you also need to display the "not under command" light signal required under the Inland rules.

"Navigable" is not up for definition, it is any body of water large enough to carry a vessel of *any* size. An innertube might skate by, but not a jonboat with a motor. Tolerably damp lawn will suffice if the prosecutor is well-versed in admiralty law and has a ***** for the case.

Please notice my username. It is earned.
This boat had/has working red/green running lights and a white stern light as required by state law. Neither motor was in use.

The river is generally too shallow to run at night (I carry multiple extra shear pins and the outboard has a pitchfork clamped to it), so we motored up before dusk and were drifting/fishing our way back to camp. I knew I needed the lights while under way, but did not know that drifting with the current qualified. I had the light off due to excessive dobsonfly activity (tiny torpedos=topwater action).



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Old 03-20-12, 06:05 AM   #21
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Let me preface this by saying that I hate drinking and driving, but those 'tests' are a joke. A real test is something carried out under controlled conditions to try and determine the true state of something. There is nothing controlled about being made to perform a series of humiliating tricks under flashing lights, with cars passing by, and with a cop standing there as an intimidating authority figure with the potential to ticket or arrest you. It is clear that field sobriety tests are in reality a tool used to establish cause to compel a breath test, or more.

A few years ago I had just wrapped up 4 consecutive eight hour days of intensive statistics training for my job, and the group had gone out for dinner. I had two drinks over about three hours, and headed for home when I got pulled over because the tags on my car were expired (I had just bought it a few days before from a friend, and I hadn't received the lien release to complete the full transfer yet). I was asked about my bloodshot eyes and explained that they bloodshot easily, the long days of intense classwork, and yes, the two drinks over a long dinner. This cop was absolutely convinced that I was drunk because of my eyes and made me play his silly little field sobriety game, which I failed miserably - by his standards. I finally asked him to get the breathalyzer, which I passed straight up.

I know quite a bit about the scientific method and properly designed tests, and field sobriety tests don't come close. Based on my tired bloodshot eyes, there was no way that I was going to get out of that situation without blowing a breathalyzer, and therefore no way I was going to pass his 'test'. I have decided that if I ever get pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving, then I will respectfully decline to act like a trained chimp and blow the test if that's what it takes to get back on my way.

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Old 03-20-12, 07:17 AM   #22
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Old 03-20-12, 07:53 AM   #23
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Let me preface this by saying that I hate drinking and driving, but those 'tests' are a joke. A real test is something carried out under controlled conditions to try and determine the true state of something. There is nothing controlled about being made to perform a series of humiliating tricks under flashing lights, with cars passing by, and with a cop standing there as an intimidating authority figure with the potential to ticket or arrest you. It is clear that field sobriety tests are in reality a tool used to establish cause to compel a breath test, or more.
This is correct. We always advise clients not to take the FST or the alco-sensor. The FST is entirely subjective, the alco-sensor is unreliable.
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Old 03-20-12, 09:35 AM   #24
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Old 03-20-12, 10:23 AM   #25
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