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Colorado reporter submits to roadside sobriety testing for news story


Trevor Hughes, a reporter with USA Today, submitted to roadside sobriety testing for a story on driving under the influence of marijuana.  A Colorado police officer simulates a traffic stop and suspects Mr. Hughes has consumed marijuana and is now DUI.  He asks if Hughes will submit to VOLUNTARY roadside sobriety testing.  After submitting to the tests, the officer proclaims Hughes as sober.  However, the video shows how even a truly sober person can exhibit some indicia of intoxication.

Among the many problems with voluntarily submitting to roadside sobriety testing, the most unfair is that the DUI suspect is taking a test without knowing the grading criteria.  For instance, during the 'walk and turn' test, Hughes raises his arms slightly to balance himself.  This is a perfectly normal thing to do but a DUI officer will note this as indicia of intoxication.  When he turned around to return to his original starting position, the turn was not done in accordance with the instructions he was given.  During the 'one leg stand' test, Hughes stumbled slightly when he put his foot down.  All of these things, in any normal situation, are completely innocent behaviors.  However, in the context of a Colorado DUI investigation, they are transformed into "scientific evidence" of intoxication.   

As a Denver DUI attorney, people often ask me if they are required to submit to roadside testing.  The answer is quite simply...no.  This video is the perfect example of why.  The reporter had consumed no alcohol and no marijuana but he exhibited multiple alleged indicia of intoxication in just a few seconds of this video.  You should never submit to roadside testing and there is no consequence to refusing to do so.