#1. There Was No Reasonable Suspicion For The Traffic Stop
This is the #1 police mistake for a DUI investigation for a reason. Police officers routinely pull over drivers even though they lack the reasonable suspicion needed to force a lawful stop. Most people don’t realize this, but you don’t need to be pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving to be arrested for a drunk driving charge. The officer only needs reasonable suspicion that you were committing any sort of traffic violation. This could include driving at night with a headlight out, switching lanes without using your blinker, or here’s the best……the officer couldn’t see you wearing your seat belt. They make it seem like they are worried about your safety and well-being, but they just wanted an opportunity for them to possibly make an arrest. However, with the help of an experienced Michigan DUI Lawyer, the evidence collected after the traffic stop can be thrown out if it’s proven the officer lacked reasonable suspicions for the the stop in the first place. This is not always easy to prove, but it is certainly always worth looking a deeper look into.
#2. Misconduct in Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are notorious for being inaccurate and misleading. It is very possible to fail a field sobriety test even though you are perfectly capable of driving safe or even sober. There are many different field sobriety tests when it comes to Michigan. Also, these tests need be performed to exact specifications according to NHSTA guidelines. If your attorney can prove that these tests were not administered correctly or some other reason for misleading test results, you can create a strong legal defense for your case. We wrote an in-depth page about what you need to know about field sobriety tests just recently and highly recommend that you familiarize yourself.
#3. No Probable Cause For an Arrest
Even after a police officer conducts a traffic stop (legal or illegal), they still must have probable cause that an actual crime was committed. If they do not have probable cause, your arrest is not valid. If you are unfamiliar with probable cause, it simply means that any reasonable person would think that you were drunk driving based on the evidence that was collected during the stop and testing. Many times there is no solid probable cause and the evidence before the arrest can be suppressed. This will not get your case dismissed, but the strength of your case and overall defense increases tremendously.
#4. Improper Administration of Your Breath Test
If you have been pulled over legally in Michigan for DUI suspicion, the police officer will administer a breath test that carries a ton of weight under the current law. It is not common for officers to wait the recommended time before performing the test. Ideally, the officer should observe the driver for around 15 minutes before the breath test. This is so that the driver does not burp, vomit, or cause alcohol to appear in the mouth that would throw off the reading. In some instances, your attorney can show that this breath test did not follow procedure and the tests should therefore be suppressed. Ever wonder if you can refuse a preliminary breath test?
Frequently Asked Questions About Drunk Driving Investigations
What are some examples of probable cause that I was driving drunk?
There are too many examples to list, but some of the more common actions include glassy eyes, aggressive attitude towards the officer, red face, slurred speech, and overall clumsiness
Does the police officer need to read me my rights for the arrest to be valid?
This question comes up a lot and many people don’t completely understand this concept. The officer does not have to read your Miranda Rights unless they plan to further question you after the arrest. To be clear, the officer only needs to read you your rights if 1) You’ve been placed under arrest AND 2) The officer plans to further question you. If there are no further questions, there is no responsibly to read Miranda rights. Learn what rights you do have during a drunk driving stop.
If an officer creates a poor police report, could that be used as a mistake against him?
In some occasions, yes. Police officers are required to create a police report including a timeline of all the events leading up to the arrest. Many times, officers create this report hours or even days later of the incident. This makes the report very inaccurate and unreliable. Your attorney will should be able to weaken the prosecutions case based on the fact the police report does not accurately depict the real events.
Can you be charged with Drunk Driving If I’m Sleeping in my car?
This is a question that we see often. Many drivers opt to “sleep it off” in their vehicle instead of driving drunk knowingly. Unfortunately, you can be convicted of drunk driving for sleeping motionless in your vehicle under current Michigan law.
Hiring A DUI Attorney For Your Legal Defense
Simply put, police officers make plenty of mistakes too. There are court records with countless cases that show police officers who cut corners, made poor decisions, and overlooked citizen rights just because they wanted to make 1 more arrest and make their statistics “look better.” Using these mistakes against them is the real skill and the real difference maker. It is critical that you remember every aspect of your arrest and share it with an attorney. If you feel that you have been wronged and the police made a mistake during your DUI arrest, give our experienced and trusted DUI lawyers a call today for a free consultation at (517) 347-6900.