Jeremy Stevens, the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's tight-end, was found guilty of DUI today. The officer that testified against Stevens, said "he smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech." I find this interesting because this seems to be the standard refrain from police officers in DUI cases. It's like they are issued manuals pieced together from old DUI case law. Those three descriptions are testified to with such repetition, you would think everyone who ever drove a car after drinking, must poor kegs of beer over their heads, smoke a pound of hash, and get so stumbling drunk they talk like Otis from the Andy Griffith show.
What is so shocking about this kind of testimony is its subjectivity. Lets say the cop had a bad day, or you just pissed him off because you didn't kiss his bloody bum. It becomes really easy for him to say, "You smell like alcohol, step out of the car." It is also really easy to make up on the stand when pressured by defense counsel. I know most cops would not do these things. But in my experience, I have seen it occur to often to believe it doesn't happen with some regularity.