When the Officer’s report is presented as evidence in court, it is generally weighed with greater credibility than that of the driver in a DUI case. There are several different factors that lead the Judge and Prosecution to believe that the officer’s account of the arrest holds higher validity than that of the driver.
1. General notion that the driver is intoxicated
The driver has consumed alcohol and is presumed to have been intoxicated, otherwise there wouldn’t be a DUI charge. When a person has been drinking they are said to not have full use of all senses. They may perceive things slowly, not be able to respond quickly, as well as have blurred vision. These effects of drinking create the perception that the driver was not in a state of complete awareness, and therefore may have a misconceived notion of the facts.
2. High Blood Alcohol Level (BAC)Whether it is true or not, when a person has a higher BAC, the assumption is that they have a higher level of impaired senses. They are assumed to have blurred vision, not be able to walk straight, or speak without slurring, and they are generally not thinking clearly or with proper logic. As a result, when the BAC is higher the Judge and Prosecutor will assume that the driver’s side of the story should not be weighed heavily due to the high level of impairment they are perceived to be experiencing at the time of the arrest.
3. Bias towards self interest
In general, when people are defending themselves against a DUI, they have an interest in protecting themselves and having the case dismissed. It is presumed that officers are a neutral party and will report neutral facts regarding the arrest. Consequently, the arguments and facts given by the driver are often assumed to be biased and to further a personal agenda.
4. Memory is affected by alcohol and drug consumption
Whether it is the case or not, when a person has consumed alcohol or drugs, their memory is not as accurate. The greater the blood alcohol level, the higher the level of inaccuracy. Oftentimes when a person has had a lot to drink and has a high BAC, they will black out pieces from their memory, unable to piece together a coherent string of events. In court, Judges and Prosecution will play up the assumption that the driver does not remember what happened the night of the arrest, and therefore, the officer’s report is the only accurate piece of evidence. This is especially true in cases where the driver has a higher blood alcohol level.
There are many preconceived notions working against a driver when it comes to their credibility. Because of these assumptions, Judge and Prosecutors tend to take the officer’s report as the only accurate piece of evidence from the night of the arrest. Unfortunately, the driver is not always bias, or under impairment, and the officer’s report is not always accurate. An experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney knows precisely how to prepare a powerful argument on behalf of the driver that shows the strengths of the case and exposes the potential errors of the officer.