Whether you've recently been charged with a DUI or not, it's a good idea to be aware of your rights during a DUI investigation. In the event that you have been charged with a DUI, hopefully you've already begun speaking with DUI defense lawyers in your area. More than likely, a good lawyer will start by trying to determine whether the arresting officer made any mistakes during the investigation that could result in the prosecution reducing or even dropping your charges altogether. Read on to learn about some of the most common mistakes made by police officers during DUI investigations.
Stopping You Without a Valid Reason
In order for a police officer to pull you over, he or she always needs to have reasonable suspicion to do so. In most DUI investigations, the "reasonable suspicion" may involve observing a vehicle cross the center line of the road, swerving erratically, or violating traffic laws. However, an officer cannot stop a vehicle for no reason (with posted DUI checkpoints being the only exception). Therefore, if an officer pulled you over without reasonable suspicion, and you can prove it, then you may be able to have your charges dropped. Often times, however, the only way to prove this is if the officer has a functioning dash cam or if there is security camera footage of the stop.
Improper Breath Test Administration
Another relatively common mistake made by some police officers during DUI investigations is that of administering a breath test improperly. Most states have regulations in place that require the officer to actively observe the suspected driver for a certain period of time before administering a breath test. This is done to avoid the possibility that the suspect could vomit, burp, or otherwise cause alcohol to re-appear in the mouth and render the test results in accurate. Sometimes, officers get so caught up in paperwork and trying to make an arrest that they fail to observe the driver for the required amount of time.
Poor Administration of Field Sobriety Tests
Finally, it's possible that a suspect could fail his or her field sobriety tests as a result of poor administration on the officer's part. This could include failure of the officer to take poor weather conditions, medical problems, or uneven pavement into consideration while administering the required tests. If you believe this or any of the above situations occurred during your arrest, you'll want to advice your DUI defense lawyer of this as soon as possible, like from R. Patrick McPherson Attorney At Law.