Las Vegas DUI Lawyer Joel Mann Attains Certification in Field Sobriety Testing and DUI Detection

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Joel Mann, Las Vegas DUI defense lawyer, became certified through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course in April. Mann said he intends to use the knowledge gained in his defense of his clients accused of drunk driving.

"This training has given me a keener eye for the problems with DUI testing, and I fully intend to put that to use in my vigorous defense of my clients," said Joel Mann, Las Vegas DUI lawyer.

Joel Mann, Las Vegas DUI defense attorney, became certified in April in DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing through a course designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Polices, and taught by an approved instructor. The course gives Mann the same training as police officers conducting DUI tests.

"While my experience has given me a deep understanding of the law surrounding DUI tests and test refusal, it was enlightening to see how the process really works, and how decisions are made in the field," Mann said.

The three-day course, in Irvine, Calif., was taught by Robert La Pier, of La Pier & Associates. La Pier has been teaching as a DUI instructor since 1977. He has trained thousands of police officers and hundreds of attorneys, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, on DUI test techniques. He's also been classified as an expert witness on the Intoxilyzer 5000, standardized field sobriety tests and other DUI matters, in both criminal and civil courts. He is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The training Mann attended is the same training that law enforcement officers go through in the Academy to learn how to conduct the tests. The course included training on:

  •     Concepts of DUI deterrence;
  •     DUI laws;
  •     Impairment detection as a three-pronged process;
  •     Impairment evidence associated with each prong;
  •     Concepts of psychophysical, or divided attention, testing;
  •     Concepts of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test; and
  •     Guidelines for the criminal process for law enforcement, including preparing arrest reports and giving testimony.

The training including extended hands-on training, where Mann repeatedly administered tests on live subjects who were actually intoxicated. Mann was tested on his performance and was required to pass a written test to earn the certification.

"As a Las Vegas DUI defense lawyer, I've certainly cross-examined many police officers and studied their procedures," Mann said. "But now that I've actually been through their training, I know the mistakes they make, and I know how it affects the results."

Nevada police may use a variety of tests to determine if a suspect is intoxicated. They include field sobriety tests, like the walk and turn, one-legged stand or HGN, in which the police requires the suspect to follow a moving object with his or her eyes. Police may also conduct breath, blood and urine tests.

While DUI suspects are still best advised to refuse DUI testing, especially with Nevada laws regarded unconsented tests in flux after the Supreme Court case Missouri v. McNeely, a lawyer trained in the specific practice of conducting the tests is better able to mount a defense by spotting the problems in the tests and fighting their admission in court, Mann said.

"This training has given me a keener eye for the problems with DUI testing, and I fully intended to put that to use in my vigorous defense of my clients," he said.

Joel Mann, of the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, Chtd., is a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who represents clients against drunk driving charges, as well as other criminal matters.

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