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What mistakes can police make during a DUI stop?

| Jan 5, 2021 | DWI

People from all types of backgrounds make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after having a couple of drinks. They don’t think they are drunk, or they believe they can still drive safely. Unfortunately, this lapse can have lasting consequences if a person winds up convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania.

However, just as drivers make mistakes, so can the police officers who pull people over. 

Common police mistakes

In the course of a traffic stop, several mistakes could occur. The first could happen before a driver even opens their window. Officers must have probable cause to stop motorists. If they do not, any charges resulting from the stop could be dismissed. 

When an officer talks to a driver, they might conduct an unlawful search or hold a driver for longer than is reasonable, both of which are acts that can be a violation of an individual’s rights. 

Mistakes can happen while police are administering roadside field sobriety tests, as well.

For example, they might fail to conduct the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is the test that assesses whether a person’s eyeball reveals signs of intoxication. Or they might have a person perform the walk-and-turn test on unstable, uneven surfaces. It is also possible that an officer can give inaccurate, incomplete or unclear directions for the one-leg stand test.

These mistakes can lead to a wrongful arrest for drunk driving.

Defending against wrongful allegations

The fact is that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. However, police mistakes can cost a person his or her freedom and damage their reputation. They can lead to unnecessary legal expenses costs, not to mention the anger and embarrassment people often feel when arrested. 

Because of how significant the consequences of a police mistake can be, it is crucial to identify missteps and defend against any charges resulting from them. Doing so not only protects your own rights and future, but it could highlight a more pervasive issue that is threatening the liberties of other drivers.

The attorneys at The Quinn Law Firm are available to help motorists who are facing DUI charges. You can call 814-833-2222 to discuss your case and any mistakes that may have occurred.