Being arrested for DUI is often the most unpleasant experience of a person’s life, and it can unfortunately lead to consequences that can affect the individual for years to come. To make matters worse, police officers are prone to committing mistakes during DUI investigations from the minute they flag you as someone to stop
Here are some of the most common mistakes police officers make when they conduct DUI investigations on the road. If any of the conditions below occurred at the time of your DUI arrest, talk to a DUI defense attorney in West Palm Beach about your case.
Signs That You Might Not Have Been Lawfully Arrested for DUI
Your Traffic Stop Was Invalid
When police officers consider conducting a traffic stop, they must have reasonable suspicion to stop a driver and have probable cause to arrest them. Officers cannot rely on a hunch to take action. Reasonable suspicion is grounds for a traffic stop based on an objective reason, such as an observation that a driver committed a traffic violation or drove erratically. So, if you were arrested for DUI but there’s no proof that the officer who stopped you witnessed you breaking the rules of the road, it’s possible that they subjected you to an illegal traffic stop.
Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved three (3) standardized field sobriety tests. Police officers may issue field sobriety tests after stopping a driver to see how they will perform certain tasks. These tests help officers judge the status of a person’s mental faculties and physical coordination.
The three field sobriety tests you may be subjected to are:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
- Walk and Turn
- One-Leg Stand
If the police officer who asks you to perform these tests does not understand the proper method of issuing them or how to evaluate your performance, the officer’s judgment can be called into question. Failure to correctly administer field sobriety tests or evaluate a suspect’s performance may invalidate the test results, which could raise reasonable doubt.
Improper Administration of Breath or Blood Test
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement relies on the Intoxilyzer 8000 to deliver breath test results that may be admitted as evidence in criminal court. After years of studying the device and challenging the evidence it produces, attorney Brian Gabriel has uncovered several ways in which the I-8000 might not work effectively. Technical errors may lead to false positives, as can mistakes made by the people who maintain, calibrate, and run these machines.
When it comes to fighting a DUI charge, several defenses may be raised surrounding the Intoxilyzer 8000. If police officers failed to follow the proper procedure for using the machine before hooking you up to it, it may be possible to have your case dismissed. If your attorney can demonstrate that the officers who took your breath sample failed to follow the Intoxilyzer 8000 reference guide, the State of Florida might not have a case against you.
Failure to Document the Traffic Stop
Police officers must complete reports detailing information about a particular incident. For a DUI, their report may include information about the suspect, the time and date of the incident, and a log of what transpired during the investigation. At times, police officers make the mistake of failing to document DUI stops or they destroy reports they made. Without a detailed report of what happened, the arresting officer’s account of events may seem questionable, leading to a weak case for the prosecution.
Talk to a DUI Attorney Who Knows How to Identify Questionable Evidence
When you’re facing the possibility of going to jail or losing your job over a DUI charge, there’s nothing more important than challenging the evidence the prosecution has against you. Your reputation and future are at stake, and you have this one chance to protect them. It’s critical to bring to light the potentially faulty evidence that the State might be using to punish you, and doing so starts with identifying the right DUI defense lawyer for your case.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has more than 30 years of experience challenging questionable evidence and casting doubt on police officers’ methods for gathering evidence and pursuing DUI suspects. He understands the scientific processes behind a positive high BAC result and the various ways your BAC could have been inflated. Turn to Brian Gabriel for a reliable DUI defense in the West Palm Beach area. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete a contact form.