I need somebody with more legal smarts than myself to help me make sense out of this one.
Corey Willis drove his SUV through a house the other night. He says his brakes failed, but no mechanical fault was found with them. He also admitted to police that he had been drinking earlier in the evening, Yet for some reason his blood alcohol level was never tested. Police say that legally they couldn’t have given him a breath test because he had taken and passed 2 separate field sobriety checks. There was nothing they could do but give him a ticket and tell him to go home, according to Chief Ricky Watson.
“He was given two field sobriety tests on the scene, and he passed both of those tests. If you don’t have probable cause, you can’t give a Breathalyzer test,” he said. Other charges were discussed, Watson said, but speeding was the only one officers believed they could cite Willis for.
“We couldn’t get him for reckless driving. We didn’t feel he intentionally did that,” Watson said. “It’s not a popular thing, but we did all we feel we could do legally.”
Here’s what I can’t figure out. Whether Willis’s drinking did or did not cause him to lay waste to these people’s home, shouldn’t the fact that he told the cops yes I’ve been drinking today count as probable cause? Even if you might think it doesn’t, shouldn’t recording his blood alcohol level for the case report be a matter of standard procedure? And what does it matter if he passed the other tests? Just because somebody appears to be fine doesn’t mean he is. Speaking only for myself, there are things I can do pretty well when I’m hosed, but that doesn’t mean I’m safe to drive. Just because I can say the alphabet or walk around without falling over doesn’t mean I’m not a safety risk to myself and others.
I guess my major question is did these cops do the right thing? Would a judge honestly look at the facts as they’re presented
and throw out the case? I don’t see how such an outcome would be possible, but I’ve been wrong before.