Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
Most Common Mistakes Made by Law Enforcement in a DUI Case

Most Common Mistakes Made by Law Enforcement in a DUI Case

Police officers are required to follow certain procedures during a DUI investigation. If they commit mistakes when obtaining evidence or placing the defendant under arrest, then a motion to suppress incriminating evidence can be filed, often leading to the dismissal of the entire case.

Here are the most common errors made by law enforcement in a DUI case:

  • Lack of reasonable suspicion – Before an officer can pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, he/she needs to establish reasonable suspicion to make an initial traffic stop. In other words, police must observe you committing a traffic violation of some sort, such as speeding, failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign, changing lanes without signaling, or driving with a broken taillight. Additionally, an officer can stop you if you are sleeping on the side of the road, weaving in a traffic lane, or anything considered unsafe. It is against the law to pull over just because police had a feeling you were intoxicated. If there is no reasonable suspicion, any evidence collected as a result of the illegal stop is invalid.
  • Lack of probable cause – Once police make a traffic stop, a DUI investigation commences if an officer believes you may be drunk driving. Again, law enforcement must identify certain facts which would cause a reasonable officer to believe that you are intoxicated. Certain indications of being under the influence include the smell of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, an open container, or difficulties walking or staying balanced. Without probable cause, a judge will most likely dismiss your charges.
  • Improper administration of field sobriety tests (FSTs) – The walk and turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus are three standardized tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They are designed to evaluate a driver’s ability to follow instructions, balance, and coordination in order to determine whether he/she is impaired by alcohol. If an officer fails to take into account the motorist’s medical conditions—as well as road and weather conditions—or incorrect administers the FSTs, then the results are inadmissible in court.
  • Improper administration of breath tests – After an arrest, you are required to submit to BAC tests at the police station to measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. If an officer fails to constantly observe for 15 minutes before administering the breath test or calibrate the testing device, the results from the breath test could be thrown out of court.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the potential mistakes police can make during a DUI investigation. It is in your best interests to hire an experienced DUI attorney to thoroughly investigate your arrest and gather evidence to determine whether or not an error was made by law enforcement. Without any evidence to use against you, your lawyer can obtain the best results possible.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Kansas or Missouri, request a free consultation with our Kansas City criminal defense attorneys at Stein Law, LLC today.


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