Last week, Maurice Shaw got pulled over for DUI in Moscow, Idaho, prompting Los Angeles DUI pundits to debate what appears to be an epidemic of sports-related DUI incidences in 2010. Whether you have been arrested for DUI in Burbank, DUI in Glendale, DUI in Los Angeles, or DUI in Pasadena, you might find Shaw’s tale educational – and helpful as you prepare to meet your charges with an accurate defense.
Not the first DUI for the Idaho football squad in 2010
Last Saturday, Maurice Shaw — a key receiver for the University of Idaho (200 yards and 14 catches to date this year) — got pulled over by the Washington State University police under suspicion of driving under the influence. The officers put him through a field sobriety test (FST) on Stadium Way. Allegedly, he failed.
Shaw is not the only Idaho player who has gotten in trouble for DUI in 2010. Back in August, Taylor Elmo, a tight end, also got arrested for driving under the influence.
Now, obviously, these are college sports stars – and maybe you’ve never heard their names. But their arrests highlight a serious problem in athletic communities — not just at our nation’s colleges but also in professional sports clubs.
This Southern California DUI blog has covered numerous arrests over the past months of famous sports figures – including owners and managers. Without excellent data, it’s impossible to tell whether these arrests and charges do constitute some kind of trend – and if so, what might be driving the trend and what might control it. But anyone who wants to solve the problem of Los Angeles DUI might want to take a closer look at these stories — and the statistics behind them.
In more practical terms, since Shaw failed his field sobriety tests, you might be wondering: what exactly are field sobriety tests, and how accurate are they? Here are some examples of FSTs:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
This eye exam is typically the first test given when a Los Angeles DUI stop is made. The officer will ask you to follow an object (such as a light), and he will measure your pupil reaction time.
Walk the Line Test
This measure examines your balance. You will be asked to step a number of paces in a straight line. If you step off the line, this could indicate that you are DUI in Southern California.
One Leg Stand Test
Another balance test. You will be asked to stand on one leg and hold the position for half a minute. Again, if you lose your balance, this could indicate a problem.
This test involves the driver tipping his (or her) head back and counting to 30. If the driver stumbles or falls, this could indicate DUI.
Finger to the Nose Test
The driver extends his (or her) arms out to the side and then attempts to touch his (or her) nose while closing his/her eyes.
On top of these balance and coordination tests, you might also be asked to demonstrate your mental facilities by doing things like reciting the alphabet backwards.
If you fail field sobriety tests, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are actually DUI. Indeed, many factors can skew the results of the tests, including your own nervousness, fatigue, illness or lack of natural coordination and balance.
To craft a strategic response to charges of Los Angeles DUI, discuss your case with an attorney. Michael Kraut at Hollywood’s Kraut Law Group can provide a free and confidential consultation. Attorney Kraut was a criminal prosecutor for Los Angeles (Deputy District Attorney), so he understands how prosecutors work, and he employs that knowledge to build smarter cases for his clients.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Pasadena or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.