No Alcohol & No Drugs: Court holds field sobriety tests provided probable cause

Following a fight where he was struck in the head several times, Mr. Gann was arrested for drunk driving and/or drugged driving. It is undisputed that he failed field sobriety tests. Blood testing later revealed no alcohol and no drugs in his system. He brought a lawsuit under §1983 against the police officers, claiming that they lacked probable cause to arrest him, and that they had failed to take into account his physical injuries when judging his performance of field sobriety tests. 


The court in this case dismissed the action, claiming that there was probable cause for the arrest. This case is interesting because the courts seem to defer to field sobriety tests. These tests are not scientific, and they are not accurate. They are incredibly unreliable, a fact that NHTSA wants to hide from the general public. But this shows how the courts are providing deference to police, failing to hold them accountable when they make unlawful arrests.  



Dist. Court, ED Tennessee, 2017
… Lithium, Depakote, and diabetes medications. Based on his training as a Drug
Recognition Expert, Officer Reff was aware that both Lithium and Depakote were known
for the potential to impair driving. In addition, the police cruiser …