Police officers are eager to get drunk drivers off the street. However, in their eagerness to curb drunk driving, police officers sometimes make mistakes. Any time a police officer fails to follow the law during a DUI stop, the arrested driver may challenge the DUI charge. Below are some of the most common mistakes Georgia police make during DUI stops. If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you should contact a Georgia criminal defense attorney for assistance.
No reasonable suspicion
A law enforcement officer can only stop a vehicle if he or she has reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation or crime has occurred. In other words, a police officer must be able to articulate a valid reason for the stop. Even a minor reason, such as a busted taillight, is enough to justify a traffic stop. Police officers, however, are sometimes unable to articulate why they pulled a driver over. If a police officer pulls a driver over without reasonable suspicion, any charges incurred as a result of the illegal stop will be dropped.
DUI checkpoint mistakes
Police are permitted to set up DUI checkpoints to check for drunk drivers. However, they must follow strict guidelines when doing so. For example, they may only stop random samples of vehicles, they can’t detain people too long after stopping them, and they can’t pursue drivers who turn around to avoid the checkpoint. Police routinely break these and other rules, giving drivers arrested at DUI checkpoints ammunition to fight their charges.
Field sobriety test mistakes
After stopping a car, the police sometimes request that a driver perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable. Not only can certain medical conditions and medications cause drivers to fail these tests, but officers frequently conduct them improperly. Any time a field sobriety test mistake results in a DUI charge, the driver can challenge it in court.
Chemical test mistakes
A common way that the authorities identify drunk drivers is by administering chemical tests, such as blood and breath tests. Blood and breath tests are designed to measure the blood alcohol content of drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence. However, chemical tests aren’t foolproof. Issues that can cause incorrect chemical test readings to include:
- Failure to properly calibrate chemical testing machines and devices,
- Failure to properly clean chemical testing machines and devices, and
- Failure to observe a driver to make sure he or she doesn’t do anything that could affect the accuracy of the test.
Contact a Georgia criminal defense attorney
If you’re facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you need an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney on your side. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our knowledgeable Georgia criminal defense attorneys will analyze the facts of your case and determine the best course of action for your Georgia criminal case. We are well known in Georgia for our success in court and at the negotiation table. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, please contact us to schedule an initial consultation.