What factors can a police officer consider in determining whether to make a DUI arrest?

The single most important factor that influences whether an officer will make a DUI arrest are the results of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) administered to you. Ohio recognizes 3 SFSTs: 1) the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN); 2) the Walk and Turn (WAT); and 3) the One Leg Stand (OLS). Officers are trained that if they do not administer these tests in strict compliance with the manual, the tests are definitely not reliable.

Ohio law, even though the training requires strict compliance, allows these tests to be admitted against you if the officer “substantially” complied with the training. Because “substantial compliance” is a lesser standard than “strict compliance” it is critical that you have an OVI defense attorney who has the experience and training to look for every flaw in the officer’s administration of the SFSTs.

Some lawyers believe there are other, non-legal factors that can influence whether a police officer will make an arrest. These include: (1) the officer’s age and experience (many believe that younger officers are more likely to make the arrest than not); (2) the officer’s personal use of alcohol (many believe that the less an officer drinks the more likely he is to make a DUI arrest); (3) specialized training in the SFSTs and assigned to patrol for DUI (specialization in duty assignment — those assigned to traffic beat or night detail — are more likely to make an arrest, although being near the end of the duty shift makes it less likely for the arrest to be made due to the extra time and work involved in making the arrest and report); (4) the person’s cooperation and attitude often contributes to whether or not there is an arrest; (5) the person’s race may have an impact as officers seem to arrest more when the person the more likely the arrest; and (7) the person’s sex plays a role in the officer’s decision about whether to make an arrest in that females are less likely to be arrested than males.

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