Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

State trooper testimony that defied logic and the Manual

I will spare this trooper the embarrassment of mentioning his name.  The lawyers who read this know who I am talking about.  This trooper is the exception, not the Rule. He makes a DUI arrest every other day.  He screws up the SFSTs every other day!  In a cross-examination that bordered on the ridiculous, accompanied by the video of the entire episode, at the conclusion of which the trial judge said that my client “did not do one thing wrong” on the SFSTs, the trooper just dug his heels in and kept getting his ass kicked harder and harder. Not one of these tests was administered correctly.  The trooper testified that you can check if eyes TRACK EVENLY by just placing the stimulus motionless in front of the subject.  The judge who became quite amused and who was at one time the elected State’s Attorney for his county, asked wouldn’t tracking require movement?  No, opined this experienced officer who claims he has gone through not 40, but 80 hours of SFST training and arrested thousands, yes thousands of DUI suspects.  When showed the most recent SFST Manual (4/09), he claimed he got an even newer one dated 6/09, that changed the 4/09 SFST requirements.   I will subpoena this the next time, since he is the only person on the planet that has this Manual.  It takes years to revise them, but they did a new one for him 2 months after publishing the 4/09 Manual.  He also claimed that parallel to the ground meant the foot was parallel, but the toes were pointed upwards.  His demonstration had his foot and toes pointing upwards, and that is what he told my client to do.  Since for most of us, our toes are connected to our feet, trying to bend the toes 90 degrees away from your foot for 30 seconds is a slight bit uncomfortable.  My client managed it with both his foot and toes pointed skyward for 44 seconds without a flaw, although the trooper saw him move his arms out, even though the rest of us could not see it on the tape.  At the conclusion of this blood bath and not guilty verdict, and outside of courthouse, I told him he needed to find a third school where he could learn the correct way to do the tests.  I was not shocked when he continued to claim he knew what he was doing. I told him that was fine, I’d just keep beating him.  He was most unhappy, in fact he was really pissed off.  Arrogant, nasty, and stupid are not good characteristics for police, lawyers, or judges, or probably any other profession.  Although the brass at the Maryland State Police love this guy, they should focus on the rest of the troopers I encounter in court every day, who are conscientious and care about giving each arrestee a fair shake.  They are out there for public safety, not Agency acclaim.  And to top it off,  he had another video-tape case DUI that the State dropped because the probable cause he wrote for the stop was not what the tape showed.  Maybe I’ll get retained by his next arrestee, so I can see if he has accepted the retraining course I gave him, or if he remains just as dumb and arrogant as he was a couple days ago.

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  • Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.
  • 29 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 700
  • Towson, Maryland 21204
  • Toll Free: 866-435-2795
  • Locally: 410-415-9219
  • Fax: 410-823-0610

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