The officer’s observations in the police reports that he completes after an arrest, are the basis for determining the relative strength or weakness of the state of California’s case against you.
In a driving under the influence arrest, the first critical element to evaluate is whether the officers had probable cause to stop you. In a DUI case, the more vehicle code violationssthe officers cite in their report create a stronger case for the prosecution. Vehicle code violations such as technical violations, like no license plates, or a tail light out although valid probable cause, create a weaker case for the prosecution.
Vehicle code violations like weaving, lane Straddling, or driving on the wrong side of the street, create a stronger case for the prosecution since they add a link for the prosecutor to build a case of a impaired driving.
Although citations for alleged violations are generally not issued for each separate violation, the officer is always seeking to list as many possible violations to build a stronger case against you. Eventhough a ticket typically is not issued at the time of arrest for any DUI, don’t be surprised that the officer had listed each and every violation he claims he saw in your police report. Carefully reviewing this report can make you and your attorney aware of the numerous discrepancies contained in the report.
The field sobriety tests, or coordination tests are given by the police officer as a building block to show your lack of coordination and impairment related performance. Although it is always good to be cooperative, it is also important to know what is legally required, and that which is not. These field sobriety tests are not required by law, and since 90% of all drivers completing these do not pass in the officer’s eyes, there seems little advantage to agreeing to perform these tests, which areschallenging without consuming alcohol.
Your blood-alcohol testing or BAC level, is the contents of your alcohol level determined by a breath or blood test. You have a choice of completing either of these tests, and although the choice is yours, the law requires that you complete at least one of these tests when requested by a police officer who suspects that you have been driving under the influence.
The higher your blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of .08% creates a stronger case against you. Your statements about what alcohol you have consumed, or your admissions to feeling buzzed or impaired, rarely are favorable to making you look better. It is always good to refrain from making additional statements which further corroborate the officers observation about your level of impairment. Don’t help the prosecutor build a stronger case against you.