It is the officer’s job to gather evidence for a DUI case from the moment a person is stopped on the suspicion of being under the influence. They administer Blood Alcohol screening tests and prepare a report outlining observations that led to the belief of intoxication. The blood or breath test is entered into evidence, as is the officer’s report. The officer’s report is circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence means that it is evidence gathered through observation, questioning and the general educated analysis of the officer. It is evidence, that when combined together, leads to a conclusion.
Officer’s write many reports a day, and tend to overlap a lot of information. An experienced California DUI attorney reads thousands of reports and can explain to a client the terms that are routinely included in all driving under the influence reports, and discuss if they pertain if at all to the specific case.
Certain boilerplate terms such as, red watery eyes, slurred speech, smell of alcohol emanating from the driver and the car, fumbling or having trouble presenting license are included in all police reports. These terms are a stereotype of drivers who are impaired and are included in every police report to strengthen the government’s case against a person.
Unfortunately, the officer’s report is given greater credibility in comparison to the driver’s account of the facts for several reasons. The driver is assumed to be intoxicated, and therefore having impaired senses, inaccurate memory, and blurred vision. Additionally, the officer’s report is presumed to have been prepared by a neutral party whereas the driver’s account of the arrest is self serving and bias. Whether this is true or not, it is the assumption of the court, and a perceived reality.
When officer’s tend to include boilerplate terms in all DUI arrest reports, there is room for argument and error. An experienced San Diego DUI attorney knows when certain terms may be inaccurate and included as a form of habit, and which terms will serve to weaken the government’s case.