Police officers make mistakes and sadly, some mistakes are intentional. We have only to look at the January 2014 DUI arrest of Justin Bieber. The arresting officer claimed to smell alcohol on Bieber’s breath and said that Bieber appeared to be impaired. To support this, law enforcement officials told the media that Bieber had a much higher blood-alcohol content than he did.
False Claims on the Report
After making a car stop for a suspected DUI, a police officer observes the scene and behavior of the driver. In an attempt to justify a car stop, the officer may claim that the driver’s breath smelled like alcohol, including this in the police report. However, what gives alcohol its “smell” is the flavoring used and this cannot serve as proof of blood-alcohol content or justify an arrest.
The police report usually includes a detailed narrative by the arresting officer. Reading through this, a defendant may be shocked by reports that he or she was staggering, exhibited slurred speech, and even seemed to fall over. This written account may be drastically different from what the officer told the individual during the car stop. As a result, a defendant tends to become confused and wonders what went wrong.
Refuting the Report
Since the police report can be one of the most harmful pieces of evidence in a DUI case, it should be taken seriously. The best way to defend against these written claims is to retain a skilled DUI attorney who will challenge the credibility and statements made by the arresting officer. A good lawyer is the best weapon in defending a DUI charge and the legal advocates at DUIRights.com match individuals charged with DUI with the best attorneys in this field.
Each piece of condemning evidence in the police report must be overcome by the DUI attorney. This may include claims of impaired appearance and behavior as well as results of chemical testing of the blood, urine, or breath. Experienced DUI attorneys understand that police reports often include harsh observations and know that officers base their testimony on these reports.
During a hearing, the DUI attorney may present witnesses who refute claims made in the police report and provide evidence that questions the accuracy of chemical and field sobriety tests. The lawyer may also call upon the client to provide testimony that contradicts statements made in the police report. A good DUI lawyer is often able to uncover lies that police officers include in arrest reports and have the DUI charge dropped.