Police Officers frequently make mistakes when they investigate and arrest a driver for OWI or Operating While Intoxicated in Michigan. Errors by police that may result in a dismissal or an acquittal in a DUI case are best discovered by an experienced Michigan Drunk Driving Attorney. Many of these mistakes include, but are not limited to the following:
- Assuming that “witnessed” driving behavior (i.e.: weaving, cell phone use, distraction) is related to alcohol consumption.
- Observing driver behavior from a distance and attributing the behavior to the driver and not to the road conditions (i.e.: swerving to avoid potholes or animals in the roadway)
- Assuming that the odor of alcohol means a person consumed alcohol and is intoxicated, when in fact the odor may be due to other causes (i.e.: mouthwash, denture solutions, alcoholic drink which was spilled on the driver’s clothes, etc.)
- Failing to investigate a driver’s potential medical problems which could imitate intoxication (such as diabetes, knee / ankle / leg / foot problems, inner ear disturbance, etc.).
- Requesting all people submit to Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), regardless of whether the person is physically unable to pass the exercises even while totally sober.
- Failing to eliminate distractions and obstacles during the SFST which invalidate the test (i.e.: loose gravel, unlevel surfaces, wind blowing, darkness, strobe lights, moving traffic, etc.)
- Failing to properly instruct the driver during the instructional phase of the SFST’s.
- Failing to properly instruct the driver during the administration of the SFST’s.
- Failing to properly follow the sequence of the SFST as described in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Manual.
- Administering invalid field sobriety “tests” which are not supported by research studies.
- Failing to properly administer the Portable Breath Test (PBT), causing a false positive result (i.e.: not following the law and waiting 15 minutes before administering the test) to support a probable cause for arrest. (Note: PBT results are generally not admissible in Michigan courts unless offered by the Defense).
- Not having the Datamaster breath test after 2 hours of cessation of the vehicle operation.
The above list of police officer mistakes is only a partial list of mistakes made by officers. It applies to Michigan DUI / DWI arrests. If any of the above mistakes exist in a Driving Under the Influence matter, then a good defense may exist to the DUI / DWI charges.
Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
Don’t trust your Michigan OWI case to an amateur or a general-practice lawyer. Take advantage of our years of experience, trial work and legal expertise with OWI laws. Do not wait. Please contact the LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or fill out a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.