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DUI cases - The police report is key

If you are arrested for DUI, you will likely want to see the police version of events. You may have to wait a bit, however, as the police report won't be available in most states until your arraignment. And upon review, you may not believe it's referring to you.

The police report is a crucial document that possesses the crux of the case against you- namely the account of the incident and all the evidence piled high or low- and can determine if fighting the charge is worthwhile.

It will typically contain a checklist for the field sobriety test which consists of three standard tests- a printout of the pas test (a handheld device used to measure blood-alcohol concentration), a print out of the breath machine result, a lab report showing the blood or urine test results- and a written version of events from the police officer(s) at the scene.

This written narrative is sometimes a bone of contention. Some police officers fail to treat each DUI as a separate event. They may "cut and paste" text from previous reports and fall into certain patterns of report writing. Descriptive terms such as glazed, fumbling, staggering, reeking, slurred, and disheveled may be peppered throughout their accounts on a routine basis, whether accurate or not.

The police report will be the template of how the police officer will testify against you in court. The officer will use the report to "refresh his/her recollection," as these types of cases may seem a blur to them after a while. They likely won't remember your particular incident and will "stick to the script" to prevent their testimony from being discredited.

Police officers are human. They occasionally will make mistakes and sometimes can be sloppy. An experienced DUI attorney can help you safeguard your rights.


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