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The actions of the police are governed by numerous policies, procedures, and laws. Mistakes, misunderstandings, or errors from the initial contact to the final booking may be helpful in winning your DUI.

Improper Stops

Tips or anonymous calls — For most DUI cases, an officer cannot stop you based solely on an anonymous call. The officer must observe an actual violation of the law before the stop is legal.

Mistake of law - Even if the officer has the best intentions, a stop based on a mistake of law in an illegal stop.

Weaving in the lane — This observation alone is not a proper basis to stop a driver. No car drives completely straight. For various reasons, a driver may drift or weave within the lane.

Stopping on a hunch or just felt like it — Rarely will an officer admit this was the reason for the stop. Almost every officer knows this is an illegal stop and any resulting evidence will be excluded.

Improper Arrest

Bad Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) — The roadside agility tests are a tool used to make an arrest decision. The tests have specific rules and observations. If they are not followed then any and conclusion would be improper.

Weather — This can affect observations of driving and performance on SFSTs. Failure to consider this factor can affect credibility.

Medical/physical conditions — There are numerous medical and physical conditions that can affect a person's roadside behavior and performance of the SFSTs. These issues should be considered and factored into an officers arrest decision.

Illegal extension of stop — Once an officer has completed his reason for the initial stop, he or she should terminate the contact and allow you to leave. For instance, if you are stopped for speeding, you should receive a ticket and be allowed to leave unless there are clearly articulated reasons to extend the detention.

Private property — A DUI arrest is not normally proper if you are on private property.

Videos don't support arrest report — Many agencies use videos. You have probably watched the show COPS on TV. When the videos are available, they may not support the arrest decision or may show facts different from what is in the police report.

Improper Blood Test

Proper request — There are specific reasons under the law for requesting and taking a blood test. If these are not followed, the test may be excluded.

Statutory requirements — There are specific procedures that must be followed in performing a blood test.

Lab mistakes — Most often, a blood test is never tested by a human. Many samples are loaded in a machine; it runs overnight and prints out multiple reports in the morning. This is open to many human and machine mistakes.

Improper Breath Test

Certification of the operator — The operator of the machine must be certified.

Certification of the machine — The machine must be certified and periodic calibration performed every 90 days.

Procedures not followed — There are specific procedures that must be followed before a proper test can be administered.

Procedural Mistakes

Reading of your Miranda rights — Although the law will not require a reading of your Miranda rights, if the officer continues to question you after your arrest, many statements may be excludable.

Witnesses — If a witness was responsible for your initial stop or other key elements, they will also have to appear at key sections of the case.

Inconsistent statements by the police — If the officer gives different stories, in his report from later testimony, it brings his credibility into question.

Expert witnesses — We have experts who often can analyze reports, breathing tests, and videotapes to help determine if the arrest was proper and the facts are correctly presented.

Absorptive stage — It is a medical fact that during the early stage of drinking, you will show an artificial "peak" while absorbing the alcohol. This means that during the early stages of absorbing alcohol — before it is fully absorbed into your system — you will yield an artificially high BAC.

Tennessee DUI defense lawyer Rob McKinney understands how prosecutors approach DUI cases. He understands the issues involved in building cases against those charged as well as how to work with the court and the prosecution in avoiding maximum sentences. Rob McKinney will vigorously defend your rights and freedom.

Free Consultation — Contact Our Firm

To arrange for a free initial consultation with an attorney, call May & McKinney, PLLC at (615) 265-6383 or contact us online.