MISTAKES THE POLICE MAKE ON DWI ARRESTS
- Stopping a vehicle in the basis of a telephone call to the police. Usually, an officer cannot rely on a telephone call to his dispatcher to stop you. The law requires sufficient information and corroboration about the caller.
- Following a driver into his residence without an invitation or without enough information to justify the entry. Your home is protected under the Fourth Amendment to the United States from unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Basing an arrest on the oral statements of the driver alone. The officer must have independent evidence to corroborate these statements. This issue arises when the suspect has not been seen behind the wheel of the car.
- a driver longer than is reasonable to investigate. The Constitution and case law does not allow officers to detain you without limit. They must have additional reasonable suspicions to continue their investigation.
- Detaining a driver and arresting him in a short period of time without investigation and forming a valid opinion on probable cause for an arrest of the driver.
- Stopping a vehicle without an articulable suspicion that a crime has occurred. An officer cannot stop you just because he thinks you are suspicious, he must have a reasonable suspicion based on facts.
- Stopping a vehicle because it stops in the middle of the street or it is driving too slow. Unless there is a specific traffic law you are violating, it is not lawful for an officer to stop you.
- Weaving within a lane. The Texas statute only requires you to drive “as nearly as is practicable within a single lane.” Some cases hold that weaving once over a lane marker or onto the shoulder is not enough of a reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop.
- Stopping a vehicle based on a mistaken belief there has been a violation of the law. Courts require that the officer must be correct about his interpretation or belief of the law.
- Stopping a vehicle for an improper traffic sign violation. Street signs and lane markings must comply with the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices and must be available to be seen by a reasonable person.
- Failing to follow the NHTSA rules for administering the field of sobriety tests at the arrest site. These failures and mistakes by the officer may invalidate the test results and allow the attorney to exclude their results in court.
- Failing to follow the rules of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Breath Testing Manual. These failures and mistakes by the officer may invalidate any alcohol testing of your breath or blood and allow the attorney to exclude their results in court.