Four Common Officer Errors that Occur During DWI Arrests
These frequent police mistakes may affect the outcome of your DWI case.
Many people often view police officers as trusted members of the law who are simply looking out for the safety and good of those around them. While we may not always enjoy being pulled over or fined for something that we have done wrong, we can usually accept the fact that they were just doing their job as an officer of the law.
However, many people often forget the fact that police officers are also normal people, just like you and I, who are fully capable of making mistakes-even when on the job.
Many of these common officer errors will go unnoticed by the person who is at fault, and therefore, are not usually a big concern to the officer in the overall scheme of things. However, when a mistake is made during your Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrest, it could make a huge impact on your entire court case and the good-standing of your personal record.
Here are just a few common ways in which officers make mistakes in a DWI case:
No Probable Cause
A police officer is not able to pull you over when driving unless they have a probable cause to do so. Therefore, there must be reasonable suspicion voiced as to why a police officer has stopped you in the first place. Also, while speeding in itself is against the law, numerous studies have shown that speeding does not directly relate to driving while intoxicated. Therefore, an officer cannot using speeding as a factor of evidence that you were driving drunk.
Inaccurately Conducting DWI Tests
There are many different guidelines which detail how a DWI officer should administer Field Sobriety Tests and Breathalyzer tests. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in unreliable evidence of intoxication. In fact, even when given by the most experienced officer and under the most ideal of conditions, field sobriety tests can inaccurately label 23-35% of people tested as intoxicated. Therefore, it is important to know whether or not these tests were conducted accurately.
Misjudged Your Levels of Intoxication
A study conducted by the Alcohol Behavior Research Laboratory at Rutgers University showed that police were not any better judges of intoxication levels than were bartenders or social drinkers. In fact, not one of these three groups correctly judged the levels of intoxication more than one quarter of the time. Officers may also notice factors of physical impairment, including sickness, injury or lack of coordination, and misjudge them as signs of intoxication.
While nearly every police officer will try their best to follow the rules and guidelines of a DWI arrest, errors can sometimes happen and minor details can get overlooked-it is only the nature of a human being that we sometimes make mistakes. However, that shouldn’t mean that you have to face the consequences of a police error.
Instead, it is important to hire an experienced DWI lawyer to handle your case, identify any possible mistakes in your arrest report, and use them to your best interest.
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney for your Denton County DWI case or arrest in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.580.2899 .
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney.
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