What happens when you are pulled over and arrested for drunk driving?
For you, it is undoubtedly a stressful, shocking, and humiliating experience. The process of being cuffed and booked makes people feel powerless and ashamed, and it can be one of the worst days of your life.
But for the police, it is completely routine. So much so that the process is a fairly straightforward checklist for them. And we can use this fact to our advantage. During the checklist they may “check boxes” automatically without investigating. Or they may miss things that there training requires them to do to prove intoxication. Either way, it is my job to break down the process, exactly how it happened in your case, and use whatever I find as part of your defense. And police mistakes are very common.
Know what police are looking for to arrest you for Drunk Driving.
When police receive their training for OUI stops, they are taught a number of techniques in order to detect and arrest people operating under the influence of alcohol.
In an OUI trial, I will use the very facts of the officers training against them to help establish your innocence. I’ve been trained in the exact techniques that the police use in determining impairment and intoxication. I am even a certified instructor in police field sobriety tests.
You see, the police are trained to look for a few distinct signs that they can note in their police reports. But it is easy for them to miss the evidence that does not support the conclusion that you are drunk.
This isn’t necessarily bad faith on the part of the police officer, although that does happen. Mostly, I believe it is human nature for them to ignore or de-emphasize facts that don’t agree with the opinion if they’ve already decided to arrest you.
That’s understandable, but it is unacceptable in a system where you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
So, if you did not display most of these signs of alcohol impairment, I’ll point out of all the things you did do well, and which do not indicate intoxication. This can be is a powerful argument to point out to a judge or jury. If 90% of the signs of intoxication that were NOT present in your case, how can a grade of 90% be a failure?
Signs Police Look For in Impaired Drivers
Once they decide to pull someone over for a traffic infraction, they look for:
- an attempt to flee
- no response
- slow response
- an abrupt swerve a sudden stop and,
- striking the curb or other object
Once the police get face to face with the driver they are taught interview techniques. They are trained to:
- Ask interrupting and distracting questions
- Ask unusual questions
- Look to see if you forget to produce license and registration
Some other things they consider clues of intoxication are:
- unable to produce document with fingertips
- an odor of alcohol
- bloodshot or glassy eyes
- slurred speech
When someone is exiting the car, referred to by the police as the “Exit Sequence”, police look for someone who:
- shows angry or unusual reactions
- cannot follow instructions
- cannot open the door
- leaves the vehicle in gear
- climbs out of vehicle
- leans against vehicle
- keeps hands on vehicle for balance
I always challenge the exact training and administration of Field Sobriety Tests, in which police frequently make mistakes against their training! They are their rules, so I make sure they have to live with them.
If you were pulled over and arrested for drunk driving in Massachusetts, please call me to find out how I can defend you.
Call Russell Matson’s cell phone to talk to an attorney anytime at (781) 380-7730.