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Tree stuck in car grille results in DUI detention

California residents may have seen images of a car with a 15-foot tree lodged in the front. The photos were displayed on the Facebook page of an Illinois police department and received thousands of shares. The vehicle was reported after being observed by another motorist. The woman who drove the vehicle was pulled over in Roselle, Illinois, and she reportedly acknowledged hitting the tree in another town. However, she apparently could not remember the exact location of the accident.

In addition to observing the stuck tree in the grille of the vehicle, the officer who stopped the woman also observed that the airbags in the front of the vehicle had been released. The odor of alcohol was noted on the woman, and she reportedly failed a sobriety test performed in the field. Officials detained the woman on drunk driving charges.

In a situation in which a motorist appears to be intoxicated, officers typically observe factors such as odors, reflexes, and speech for clues to confirm the matter. A field sobriety test could include a request to perform some physical activities that would normally be difficult for an intoxicated individual. However, a field test might not prove that an individual has exceeded the blood alcohol content limit for legal driving.

Breath testing in the field could provide further information, but its validity can be challenged in some situations. Blood testing could be more difficult to challenge, but it is important that appropriate legal protocol is followed when collecting a sample. If a driver refuses testing, there could be severe consequences.

A person who has been charged with DUI might challenge it based on inappropriate handling of the situation by officials. It might also be possible to attribute an adverse event to a medical situation or an interaction of prescribed medications. A criminal defense attorney might also identify any errors in police handling of the incident at the scene.

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