Illinois police are "cracking down" on drivers not wearing seat belts and DWIs at the same time by merging the DWI and seat belt campaigns and enforcement. As a St Louis DWI lawyer, I see the targeting of seat belts as a stretch to pull people over late at night or who are leaving certain establishments. Under this approach police officers can pull anyone over and just say it appeared they were not wearing their seat belt.
November 2010 Archives
Our St Louis DWI law firm was retained by a young man charged with DWI by the St Louis City Police after he left Mardi Gras and was stopped for allegedly not using his blinker while parallel parking. In my opinion, the no blinker charge was used as simply a pretext to stop this driver and raises serious probable cause and 4th Amendment rights defenses in this case.
We submitted this case to the judge at trial "on the record" meaning we were not arguing with the officer's version of the facts related to the DWI arrest. After making our arguments to the judge the court ruled to dismiss the DWI through an acquittal.
The alleged drunk driving case was dismissed on the following grounds cited by the court after our Missouri DUI defense was submitted:
1. Insufficient observations by the officer prior to the DWI arrest;
2. Only 2 of the 3 Standard Field Sobriety Tests were performed with few "cues" of intoxication noted;
3. The officer marked the PBT (portable breath test) box "NO" instead of "N/A"