It’s 2 a.m., you are driving home from a bar, and suddenly you see red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror. Panic sets in as you pull over and a cop gets out of the car. Being pulled over on suspicion of DWI can be a very intimidating experience, but the responsibility is on the police to carry out a flawless examination and arrest. Police frequently make mistakes that could get you off the hook.
A police officer is not authorized to stop a vehicle based solely on an anonymous tip, or for no reason at all. Police are also not permitted to stop a vehicle just to check your license and registration. The officer must have evidence that the driver committed a traffic violation.
Police may also fail to ask about medical problems that could cause you to fail field sobriety tests. Physical limitations could affect your performance on field sobriety tests. Many individuals are unable to successfully perform the field sobriety tests even when sober because of medical and physical limitations, which can also affect driving or speech, leading an officer to incorrectly assume a driver is intoxicated.
Environmental factors may also be an issue in performing field sobriety tests. Rain, wind, darkness or uneven surfaces, such as gravel, may impair your ability to perform the field sobriety tests. The officer selects the time and place for performing field sobriety tests and is thus responsible for making sure no distracting conditions exist.
Furthermore, officers are required to provide proper instruction and demonstration for the field sobriety tests. If an officer fails to do this, the results of the test may be thrown out. Police are not permitted to use unauthorized tests to analyze whether you are sober, to convince you to take a Breathalyzer test through trickery or to incorrectly read paperwork to you.
If your rights were violated during a DWI arrest, an experienced San Antonio DWI attorney at the law firm of Joseph P. Appelt can fight for a just result.