Common DUI Mistakes Police Make
Many drivers are pulled over by police and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence. However, sometimes, police officers may make mistakes when arresting suspects for DUI. It’s important to know about these mistakes if you find yourself facing these charges.
No Cause to Make a Stop
One of the most common DUI mistakes police officers make is when they pull over a driver when there is no reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. Police must have a valid reason to pull someone over, and in many cases that could be completely unrelated to driving under the influence. For instance, if a driver has a broken headlight or taillight, or if he or she drove through a stop sign, it will give the officer a legitimate reason to stop that individual. If the police officer merely got a glimpse of the driver’s face and decided that he or she appeared suspicious, that wouldn’t count.
No Proof of Operating a Vehicle
A police officer cannot arrest a person for DUI just because he or she is sitting in a vehicle that isn’t moving. If the car is parked, and the individual is sitting there, even with the engine idling, that doesn’t prove that the person is operating the vehicle while under the influence. An arrest for DUI would be considered a mistake.
Improper Administration of Tests
When police officers pull someone over for suspicion of DUI, they often require the person to submit to a breath test. However, the Breathalyzer must be properly calibrated before the test is administered, or it could give a false result.
Other tests that measure blood alcohol concentration must also be administered properly for the same reason. When a person is ordered to give blood or urine for testing to determine if he or she may be guilty of DUI, the samples cannot be tampered with or tainted, or they could give false results. A Morristown criminal defense lawyer knows that such tests would be inadmissible in court and would fight to ensure that the charges would be dropped against the person.
Field sobriety tests must also be conducted properly. If the police officer makes a mistake while conducting one of those tests, the results wouldn’t count.
DUI checkpoints are commonly used so that police officers can stop drivers and ask questions to see whether anyone is driving while intoxicated. However, some officers make the mistake of setting up an illegal DUI checkpoint to stop people. Any roadblocks that are created have certain legal requirements the police department is obligated to follow. If the roadblock does not follow those criteria or has not been authorized, it’s considered a violation of drivers’ civil rights.
Stopping the Wrong Vehicle
Another common DUI mistake made by the police is when an officer makes a stop without identifying the vehicle that committed the violation. At any point when an officer makes a driver pull over, they are required to testify under oath that the person they stopped committed a specific traffic violation. Even if the police have the right suspect, if they cannot identify the vehicle, the case would be thrown out.
Detaining Someone Too Long
Police are not permitted to detain a driver for too long after stopping them. If the officer keeps the individual at the scene for an inordinate time while deliberately causing a delay or intimidating them, it’s a DUI mistake that can penalize the officer. Drivers are not to be detained for too long, even if suspected of driving under the influence, as it’s considered unreasonable.
Entering a Driver’s Private Residence Without Permission
Police cannot follow a driver to his or her home to make a DUI arrest. This is considered illegal, even if the person committed a traffic violation, as it violates his or her Fourth Amendment rights.
If you have been arrested after New Jersey police made a DUI mistake and need an experienced Morristown criminal defense lawyer, contact Gregg A. Wisotsky, Esq. at (973) 898-0161 or (908) 229-9714 after hours and on weekends.