Attorney Patrick Stangl sets himself apart from other Wisconsin OWI attorneys in many ways, but one in particular is unique to him: He's trained in administering and evaluating Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) just like law enforcement officers.
This gives attorney Stangl incredibly deep insight into how these tests are designed, what their weaknesses are, and where law enforcement commonly make mistakes when administering them.
Watch the full video below to learn how hiring an attorney who is trained on the same protocols and instructions as the police gives you a huge advantage in crafting a successful OWI defense or read a summary transcript below.
What are Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)?
"FSTs are tools officers are trained to use to look for certain 'clues' as to whether you can listen to what they're instructing you to do, and whether or not you can physically perform the tests. These are called 'Divided Attention Tests.' So, a good officer is dividing your attention. He may ask you questions that don't pertain to what he's instructing you to do to see if you can follow what he's telling you to do and also divide your attention to these other questions he may be asking you."
Why is it Important to Hire an Attorney with FST Training?
"It's really important to have an attorney who's had the same type of training in field sobriety testing as the officers. Your basic officer has a 24-hour course that they go through that is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, commonly called NHTSA, and I have that training. The reason that's so important? I have the same training as these officers do. So, I can tell, did they follow all the instructions? There are specific instructions that must be followed in order to be able to say 'yes, that test result or those clues that I saw are valid indicators that someone may be under the influence of an intoxicant.'
So, my experience over the past 27 years is that officers frequently make mistakes in the field with respect to how they are implementing field sobriety tests. And that's important because if they make mistakes in how they instruct the subject to complete the test, then they can't rely on that in their formulation to determine whether that particular individual has exhibited probable cause to arrest them. So, that's a strong avenue of attack in many of our cases.
And then of course, what kind of chemical test did they use? What it a blood test or a chemical test? There can be multiple problems with both tests. And the individual has a right to a jury trial where the state, county, or village has to prove this by clear satisfactory and convincing evidence to a reasonable certainty. So oftentimes, they simply can't prove to the burden of proof that the particular client is guilty."
Read more: Understanding the Walk-and-Turn FST in Wisconsin
What to do if You've Been Arrested for OWI in Wisconsin
If you are facing OWI, DWI, DUI, BAC or PAC charges in Wisconsin, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to assist in your defense as soon as possible.
Attorney Patrick Stangl explains why you should never give up hope when fighting repeat DUI/OWI charges in Wisconsin:
Criminal Defense Lawyer Patrick J. Stangl has been aggressively fighting to protect the rights of drivers accused of OWI and other drunk driving charges for over 30 years. He remains committed to protecting the innocent against OWI charges in Madison, Hayward and across Wisconsin.
Two OWI Defense Success Stories
Victory - OWI Accident in Madison, Wisconsin
Attorney Stangl represented a client who had a vehicle accident in the City of Madison and registered a breath alcohol concentration of .14. Luckily no one was hurt but his client was subsequently charged with what is commonly called “drunk driving” but technically an OWI/PAC as a first offense in the State of Wisconsin, §346.63 (1) (a) and §346.63 (1) (b) Wis. Stats. It appeared the City had a strong case and his client was willing to put the matter behind him, however Attorney Stangl continued to research and investigate the matter. Ultimately he was able to discover that the arresting officer failed to comply with certain technical requirements of the law regarding the reading of the Informing the Accused which are rights that a suspected drunk driver must be informed of prior to the submission of any chemical test of their blood, breath or urine. Ultimately the case was successfully resolved and the OWI was amended to reckless driving and the PAC (above the legal limit charge) was dismissed.
Victory - OWI-First Offense in Chippewa County, Wisconsin
The client was charged with OWI and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration at or above .08. The client was stopped after speeding approximately 10 mph above the posted speed limit and subsequently arrested. He registered an alcohol breath concentration of .12. The defense replicated the driving and alcohol consumption scenario on the night in question and did a subsequent Intoximeter test showing the defendant’s alcohol concentration. The defense was prepared to show the scientific basis for the huge discrepancy and the defense was also prepared to prove that the arresting officer was not qualified to properly complete the field sobriety tests and made multiple errors in implementing those tests. Days before the scheduled jury trial, the Village conceded that it could not prevail and the PAC charge was dismissed and the OWI amended to reckless driving.
FREE 10-Minute Consultation
If you need help to fight drunk driving charges in Madison or elsewhere in the state, Attorney Pat Stangl is happy to offer you a FREE 10-minute consultation to discuss your case and explore options for your defense against OWI, DUI, DWI, PAC, BAC or other criminal charges. Click the link below to get started.