Mistakes Police Make

Understand your rights. Contact attorney Matt Bodman

Being stopped by a police officer and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol can be a frightening experience.

Attorney Matt Bodman knows all too well about such situations. That's because he has years of experience defending people charged with DUI by law enforcement officials who made mistakes when making a drunk driving arrest.

If you have been charged with drunk driving in Columbia or elsewhere in South Carolina, contact our law firm immediately. We want to review your case and determine if the arresting officer followed all the rules and regulations.

What are common mistakes police officers make in drunk driving cases?

Every single case is different. But there are many mistakes police officers make in cases involving a drunk driver. Some of the most common errors include:

  • Stopping a driver without probable cause - Police officers cannot stop someone simply because they suspect the driver is drunk. The police officer has to have a concrete reason. We can review your arrest report and determine if the officer had a legitimate reason to stop you in the first place.
  • Not explaining a driver's rights to them during a DUI stop - Police officers must follow specific rules and regulations when they stop someone and arrest them for drunk driving. If the arresting officer does not explain what rights drivers have on video, the charges could be dropped.
  • Arresting a driver for drunk driving based solely on the driver's statements - A police officer cannot arrest you just because you "sounded" drunk. Simply suspecting that a driver is drunk is not good enough. The officer needs evidence. And without evidence, the charges could be dismissed.
  • Administering a BAC test incorrectly - Mistakes often occur when police officers test a driver's breath, urine or blood for evidence of alcohol. Sometimes, inexperienced police officers don't know how to use the equipment. Other times, the equipment can have mechanical problems.
  • Waiting too long to administer a BAC test - In order to obtain accurate results, police officers need to administer a BAC breath test within 2 hours and a blood or urine test without 3 hours. Otherwise, the results will not be accurate and should not be used as evidence to charge you with drunk driving.
  • Improperly handling or storing BAC test results - Test samples from a blood, breath or urine BAC test must be stored properly and not tampered with afterwards. This often includes storing the test results in a sealed container or in a temperature-controlled environment. Excessive heat or moisture can cause damage to such test samples. Improperly handled test results should not be used as evidence because they may have been altered.
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