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Court Holds that Verbal Testing of an Intoxicated Person is Allowed


The People of the State of New York are the plaintiffs in this case. The defendant in the case is Davis I. Shakemma. The case is being herd in the First District of the District Court of Suffolk County in the state of New York. Judge Lawrence Donohue is presiding over the case.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant of the case has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which is in violation of Traffic Law section 1192. The defendant has been charged with using marijuana. A probable cause, Huntley, and refusal hearing has been held in the matter.

Case Background

The officer that made the arrest in the case has testified that the saw the defendant driving on Montauk Highway located in Patchogue. He states that on two occasions the defendant swerved off of the road and onto the shoulder by more than half a car width.

The officer pulled the car over. He went to the window on the driver’s side of the vehicle and smelled marijuana immediately. He then asked who had marijuana. The defendant stated that “I just smoked some weed.” A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the officer asked her to exit the vehicle and at the rear of the car he noted that her pupils were pin point and her eyes were very red. The partner of the officer stated that “she was wasted.” The arresting officer testified that he arrested the defendant on the basis of the smell of marijuana and his observations that she was impaired and that her pupils were so small. The officer did not conduct any field sobriety tests and there were no drugs found in plain sight in the vehicle.

When they arrived at the precinct the officer read the alcohol and drug influence report to the defendant. This form requests that a chemical test be taken. For this particular case this would be a drug test. There is also a form that allows the defendant to refuse to take this test. At 12:25 a.m. the defendant agreed to take a blood test. A physician’s assistant was called to draw the blood. The physician’s assistant arrived at approximately 1:15 a.m. The defendant refused to take the blood test upon the arrival of the physician’s assistant.

The arresting police officer states that he has made over 20 arrests that involve driving under the influence of marijuana. He states that he was trained in the Suffolk Police Academy on how to recognize intoxication from alcohol. However, a Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said this training did not cover how marijuana influences a person’s capacity to drive. He did not receive any other type of training related to marijuana.

Court Discussion and Determination

Verbal testing can be conducted at the precinct by an officer who is trained to observe the affects of marijuana on an individual. However, no tests were conducted on the defendant.

Based on the testimony made by the officer it is determined that the traffic stop he made was valid. It is also determined that the statement made by the defendant that she had smoked marijuana is admissible as evidence. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant willingly supplied this information and it was not coerced out of her from the police officer.

However, there is not other evidence of a crime being committed in this case. The People have not established probable cause in this case and for this reason the charge against the defendant is dismissed.

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