What Information Does the DUI Police Report Contain?
Arizona Revised Statutes section 28-1381 states that a police officer can arrest you on DUI charges if you are physically operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even if the officer didn’t see you driving but they have a reasonable suspicion, they can still arrest you. Police officers have the obligation to draft a report that outlines what has happened. This is a crucial piece of evidence in the upcoming DUI trial, which is why it’s important to know what information a DUI police report contains.
A Basic Overview of the DUI Police Report
The police report provides a written record of the arrest and the evidence that the police officer observed at the scene. In order to be accurate and comprehensive, a police report has to be created immediately after the arrest.
While some exceptions could apply, a police report is provided to the defendant and their DUI attorney during the first court hearing. The prosecution will also need this document because it will provide crucial information based on the memory of the arresting officer.
Apart from the account of the arresting officer, the DUI report is going to contain additional information. If there have been two officers at the location, the second one could also write a report. Other documents included in the report are the results of a field sobriety test, a print out from the breathalyzer test and a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test result.
Reading a DUI Police Report and Responding to It
Many people who see the DUI police report for the first time are angered and even shocked. It may contain false statements but remember – this document is based on the memory of the arresting officer.
Thus, the report could state that the police officer smelled alcohol on the breath of the defendant or that the vehicle operator’s speech was slurred. Such statements are pretty standard when it comes to DUI police reports . Keep in mind that police officers have the right to read through the report before testifying in court. Thus, they can base a testimony on the information in the document and they will be free from having to recall all details they observed before the arrest.
It’s also very important to know that reports police officers write will also include information about statements the defendant or car passengers make. Thus, remaining silent is a good idea. If you joke about having a beer the night before, such information can easily make its way in the DUI report.
Just because a police report is written a certain way does not mean all of the information is taken for granted in court. A DUI lawyer can challenge some aspects of the document, as well as the results of the alcohol tests.
The defense team will be tasked with suggesting certain statements are exaggerated or false. In addition, some key information could be missing from the report. A lawyer will have to find evidence of this missing information, especially if it could help their client.
Needless to say, certain aspects of the report will be difficult and even impossible to disprove. When a police officer writes that a vehicle operator was stumbling at the scene, proving the opposite will be a causa perduta for even the most experienced of DUI attorneys (unless the BAC test results can be challenged to show the driver had not consumed alcoholic beverages).
In fact, challenging test credibility is much easier than addressing the subjective statements based on the memory of the arresting officer. Whenever a mistake was made in test administration or the rights of the defendant were violated, chances are that a lawyer will potentially get the case dismissed or ensure more favorable results for their client.