Do Police Officers Make Mistakes In DUI Cases?

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Although police officers spend time studying driving under the influence, or DUI, laws, it is still possible for them to make mistakes. If you are facing DUI charges, you could possibly exploit those mistakes to avoid a criminal conviction. Here are just a few of the mistakes that officers could make during the course of a DUI investigation.  

Lack of Probable Cause 

Before the officer makes the decision to pull you over, he or she has to determine whether or not there is probable cause for the stop. In other words, the officer has to prove he or she had a good reason for initiating the stop that led to your DUI arrest.  

A good example of probable cause is if the officer observed you running a red light, and then he or she discovered that you were intoxicated while ticketing you. Probable cause could even apply if he or she observed you walking to your car in an erratic manner that led him or her to believe that allowing you to operate your vehicle would be unsafe. 

However, not all stops are the result of a probable cause judgments made by the police officer. If the officer is unable to explain and prove that he or she had a legal justification for stopping your car, you and your attorney could fight the charge and possibly have it dismissed.  

Incorrectly Administered Testing 

It is not enough for a police officer to state that he or she believed that you were intoxicated. The officer has to prove it. The first step is a field sobriety test. The test is highly regulated and has guidelines that were set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If the officer fails to follow the guidelines, you could argue that he or she did not take an accurate assessment of your condition.  

Even if the officer did administer the field sobriety test correctly, there is another opportunity for challenging a test. The blood alcohol level testing that is administered after you are detained also has to follow certain guidelines.  

For instance, officers and medical personnel who are involved in the testing are required to maintain a chain of custody for your blood sample. If not, you could argue that the sample was tainted. Without definitive proof of who had control of the sample, it could have been incorrectly handled.  

Your DUI attorney can help you determining if the arresting officer made any mistakes in your case. For more information, contact a firm such as Boehmer Law.