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We caught an article out of Pennsylvania recently, which was of particular interest to our Tempe DUI lawyers. Apparently, a Pennsylvania man who was pulled over for a fairly routine traffic stop ended up ultimately being arrested for a DUI. This in and of itself isn’t unusual – we know that plenty of routine traffic stops throughout Arizona turn into DUI charges. The interesting part of this report is why the officer decided to conduct field sobriety tests: it was all about a high-five!
On the morning of February 19, 27-year-old Gerald Decker was pulled over by Tyrone, Pennsylvania law enforcement for not having his headlights on. During the stop, Tyrone police officials report that Decker thanked Officer Adam Bonsell with a “Thanks, buddy” and a high-five. Officer Bonsell reportedly told Decker, “That’s not how it works.” Field sobriety tests were administered, and officials have stated that Decker’s BAC was 2 and a half times the legal limit in Pennsylvania.
As we’ve talked about before, the police use their observations of your behavior during a traffic stop to determine if you have been drinking. Even if you are completely sober, gestures that seem friendly or helpful could lead to field sobriety testing if an officer misinterprets them. Remember to always err on the side of caution and treat law enforcement officials with respect any time you are pulled over.