Even the cops know not to take so-called "Field Sobriety Tests!"
Fort Worth officer is found not guilty of DWI
By MELISSA VARGAS
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
FORT WORTH -- Chiding Keller police for acting unfairly, a Tarrant County judge Thursday found a Fort Worth police officer not guilty of driving while intoxicated in Keller last July.
Judge Daryl Coffey said he believes that Keller police treated Amy Rodriguez more harshly because she was an officer. He questioned whether she would have been arrested otherwise.
Keller Police Chief Mark Hafner said Thursday afternoon that he stands by the actions of the arresting officer and maintained that Rodriguez was arrested with probable cause.
The officer "did what he believed was prudent at the time, but people are innocent until proven guilty and we respect that," Hafner said. "The district attorney's office also accepted the case and believed the evidence would lead a reasonable person to believe the operator was under the influence."
Rodriguez, 31, was stopped for speeding shortly after 10:30 p.m. July 29 at Keller Parkway and Davis Boulevard. The officer said that Rodriguez's breath smelled of alcohol and that Rodriguez told him that she had had hardly anything to drink, court records show.
Rodriguez was interviewed, but police released her to members of the Fort Worth police's internal affairs department, Coffey said.
An arrest warrant was issued for Rodriguez a few days later, and she surrendered to authorities Aug. 22. She was released after posting $1,000 bail.
During a bench trial Thursday morning, the Keller officer who stopped Rodriguez testified that Rodriguez refused a Breathalyzer. The officer did not perform a field sobriety test and she "refused to cooperate," court records show.
Refusing to take the Breathalyzer, however, did not indicate that she was guilty and trying to avoid jail, Coffey said. Even if Rodriguez had consented to the Breathalyzer and the results had shown her to be under the legal limit, she could have been arrested anyway, Coffey said.