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  1. #1

    Default OUI, First Offense, in Maine

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Maine

    I am a first time offender, 23 years old, and just graduated with a Bachelor in Science in Criminal Justice. I was arrested for OUI on 07.02.11 by an undercover police officer in Old Orchard Beach. After leaving a package store purchasing a 24 case of beer, I was pulled over 500 yards down the road for appearing to be too young to purchase alcohol and a seatbelt violation. I had 7 passengers in a 5 passenger car, two of which were under 21(an aggravating factor in Maine). I was asked to step out of the car, at which point the officer immediately started the field sobriety test, with no option to decline, and failed 2 of 3 tests(not sure if he needs permission to begin). He began with the pen test, and started way out of my peripheral vision range. He erratically moved the pen side to side, fast and sometimes out of range of sight. I am sure this is one that I failed. Then, the step test, which the passenger witnesses and I all believe I passes, FLAWLESS. At this point they all stopped watching because they were certain he was going to let me go. Finally, the one foot SIX inches off the ground. At about 18 one thousand I remembered that I was supposed to be SIX inches, not THREE like I had started, so I moved it another three inches off the ground, and I believe this is why I failed the test because my foot never touched the ground, despite some nervous shaking of the leg. He placed me under arrest stating, "Unfortunately, I believe you have had too much to drink and operate a vehicle."

    Upon reaching the station, the transporting officer allowed me to make a phone call, at which point I contacted one of many family/friend police officers who advised me to refuse the breathalyzer as I knew I was borderline .08 and knowing that the test can be inaccurate(refusing is another aggravating offense(#2).

    Question # 1- What are my chances against a Jury Trial.

    #2- Probable Cause? Im guessing his reasonable suspicion is the fact that I look under 21, despite being 5'11 195 pounds. Probable Cause is then the field sobriety test.

    #3- Why didn't he just ask me for my license when I left the package store.

    #4- If I was that drunk, officer, why did you let me walk home from the station? Despite the fact that my friends bailed me out, he knew they were the same friends that all stated they could not operate the vehicle after arrest.

    Looking for any legal advice, thank you very much for any time you spend, it means a lot to get as much advice as possible. It was a bullshit arrest, he knew I was not drunk, and should have concluded that I was fine to drive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,376

    Default Re: Oui Maine First Offense

    Your version of how you did with the field sobriety test and the officer's will vary significantly. When the police report is filed, it is very specific regarding the behaviors that you exhibited durring the stop. Your appearance, speech, pupil dilation, demeanor, physical appearance, sweat level and more indicators that will confirm his suspicions of your state of intoxication will be documented. You stated that you and your friends all believe that you passed the step test with flying colors. However, you also state that they were all the same ones that stated they were also in no condition to drive. If they were too hammered to drive, how credible is their assessment of your ability to pass the tests administered? The fact that it took you to the count of 18 to remember that he stated that you needed to have your foot elevated to six inches is a problem. By your own admission, you were intoxicated.

    The cop observing you with too many passengers to safely operate the vehicle, your youthful appearance and your failure to buckle up gave him probable cause to initiate a stop.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Oui Maine First Offense

    The fact is that none of us were hammered, however after watching a cop arrest me none of them wanted to get involved with him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,376

    Default Re: Oui Maine First Offense

    The fact is that you admitted to yourself that you had too much. The stop was warranted. If you don't like the term "hammered," fine. But, that does not negate the fact that he caught you on a valid stop for what you think was a bogus reason to stop you in the first place is flawed. Would it have been better had he waited for you to hit somebody? I know that you say "you weren't drunk," but you can't predict that. He did what he needed to do.

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