We have all made mistakes in our lives, some big some small. Some mistakes we can learn from and move on, but others can have larger consequences. This is particularly true when a mistake impacts other people. When those mistakes impact others and their future, the victim must take aggressive action to protect their rights.
This is especially true when an officer makes a mistake during an operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) case. These cases can lead to an immediate impact for the driver, such as an arrest, as well as long term consequences like difficulty getting a job due to the presence of a DUI on their record.
Mistakes happen. When it comes to these types of situations, two of the most common mistakes include the following.
#1: No good reason for the stop
Officers need to have a legal reason to pull over a car. End of story. They cannot just decide they want to pull over a vehicle because they don’t like the look of it or the driver, they must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the stop. This could include seeing that a car is weaving between lanes, driving too fast, not stopping at traffic signals, or otherwise driving dangerously.
The law generally requires officers to have an explanation for the stop. If they do not have a good reason, it could be a red flag that the stop was an illegal violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
#2: Technical error
Police often rely on evidence from roadside tests and breathalyzers. These results are not always accurate. There are many examples of a breathalyzer machine that is improperly calibrated or experiences other technical errors that lead to inaccurate results.
Bonus: Why does this matter?
This matters because any one of these mistakes can mean the driver can push for the court to reduce or dismiss the charges.