My client (we’ll call him Joe) was arrested by the Port Wentworth Police at a DUI roadblock in Chatham County and charged with DUI, less safe (alcohol) and Driving under the influence (DUI). In the State Court of Chatham County, he plead down to Driver to use due care and Reckless Driving. The two DUI charges are gone.
Joe had driven 25 miles before the hidden road block in Port Wentworth. But then he was in the middle of an operation: the DUI Roadblock. “License and Insurance,” cop says. Joe had it in his hand ready for them to take it. Then the Port Wentworth Police officer comes back to the truck and says “Get out of the truck.” Joe got out and at the cop’s request tried some DUI Field sobriety tests. He didn’t smell of alcohol. He wasn’t unsteady on his feet. He wasn’t wobbling. His speech was not slurred. His eyes were not blood shot. Next, they have him blow in a preliminary breath test device (roadside screening device that can tell if you have any alcohol in your system. Cop says “your going to blow in it one more time. I’m tired of dealing with you. I will arrest you.” He blows again. It made a sound. Cop said “Yeah.” Joe asked cop 2 after every attempt what did it register? Cop said “You’ll find out after you go in the trailer.” They cuffed him. “What are they doing to you?” crys his wife. “He’s going to arrest me.” “For what?” she asks.
On cross-examination at the Preliminary Hearing in the Port Wentworth Municipal Court the cop said that there were videos of the DUI roadblock. And, he said that his handwritten field notes of all the field sobriety tests were in a locker.
We went to the DUI Roadblock scene and got photographs and video of the area. We hired a DUI Field Sobriety Test Expert and Trainer to come testify for the Jury trial. I subpoenaed the following things from the Port Wentworth Police Department: DUI reports, Video, Audio of the event, call records, Port Wentworth Police Department Guidelines for Roadblocks, and the cop’s handwritten notes.
They gave us nothing. They came to court with nothing. The judge set up a show cause hearing for the Port Wentworth Police Department to come show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for violating the subpoena. But the case went away before the show cause hearing came. And Joe got no DUI.