If you drink and drive on the roads of New Jersey there is a chance you can be pulled over and be arrested for DWI. During your arrest mistakes could have been made that can help you avoid a conviction. Below are some of the common mistakes police make when initiating a traffic stop and DWI arrest.
Mistake 1: No Probable Cause For DWI Arrest
The first mistake an officer may make is conducting a traffic stop without the proper reasonable suspicion to stop a driver. Cases are dismissed if the arresting officer had no valid reason for the initial traffic stop that resulted in the DWI arrest. Other factors may also play a role in having DWI cases dropped.
Mistake 2: Improper DWI Checkpoints
Although DWI checkpoints are prevalent during the holiday seasons in various municipalities, they can be unlawful if not conducted in accordance with the regulations that are in place. For example, an officer is not allowed to set up a DWI roadblock without approval from a supervisor. Additionally, proper public notice and lighting indicating a checkpoint is required.
Mistake 3: Improper Field Sobriety Testing
An officer's failure to properly administer and evaluate field sobriety tests is another mistake that may be made during a DWI arrest. The field sobriety tests, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn and one-legged stand, have standardized instructions that must be followed when being conducted by the arresting officer. Also, officers are required to report the results with detailed information about how each test was performed.
Mistake 4: Improperly Conducting The Breath Test
Mistakes made by officers when administering blood alcohol tests at the police station can help a defendant's case. The officer who administers the breath test needs certification and proper training. If a test isn't performed according to the rules and regulations, it can impact the outcome of the case. The officer or test administrator who is performing the test is required to follow procedures such as the twenty minute observation period, changing of the device's mouthpiece and removal of cell phones during the testing, among others.