Post details: TX1: 15-minute delay for DWI Task Force officer to arrive to do FSTs was reasonable

11/23/12

Permalink 08:29:29 am, by fourth, 240 words, 388 views   English (US)
Categories: General

TX1: 15-minute delay for DWI Task Force officer to arrive to do FSTs was reasonable

Defendant was stopped for drifting from lane to lane without signaling. The officer suspected DWI, and defendant did not challenge the initial stop. He did challenge the delay in waiting for a DWI Task Force officer to arrive to do the FSTs. The court found the delay reasonable under the circumstances. Bullock v. State, 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 9625 (Tex. App. – Houston (1st Dist.) November 21, 2012) (not yet on court's website):

When a traffic stop detention is prolonged by a reasonable delay to comply with legitimate police policy, no Fourth Amendment violation has occurred. See Belcher, 244 S.W.3d at 539; Hartman, 144 S.W.3d at 573. 4 But the duration of the delay must be reasonable in light of the law enforcement purposes served. Texas courts of appeals that have reviewed delays for the same law enforcement purposes at issue here—increased experience and expediency in conducting DWI investigations and the need to have officers available to respond to emergency calls—have found delays of twenty minutes or more were reasonable with respect to the public policies served. See Belcher, 244 S.W.3d at 541-42 (holding twenty-seven minute delay while waiting for DWI officer did not violate Fourth Amendment). The delay here was approximately fifteen minutes—shorter than the delays in these cases. Like the delay in Belcher, the delay here was reasonable in light of the public policies served by the role of the DWI task force. See Belcher, 244 S.W.3d at 541-42.

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