Every now and then police might struggle with the decision to arrest for DUI or not…
We have all heard of the stories of over zealous officers looking to make an “easy” DUI arrest.
Cases From The News
- Chicago to pay $450,000 to 2 drivers falsely charged with DUIs
- Cop Jailed For Falsely Arresting People For DUI
- Heather Squires Was Arrested For DUI Without Drinking A Drop of Alcohol
- Trooper accused of making false DUI arrests
I’m extremely confident we all have clients who report that their DUI arrest was a false arrest.
Are You Sure You Can Spot A False DUI Arrest?
Our task as defense attorneys is to do everything that we can to corroborate our client’s stories.
When our own digging reveals something different than what we are being told, that’s when it is time for the “talk“.
However, we always have to be careful to not have that “talk” too early. We just can’t be dismissive of our client’s without some type of inquiry.
When it comes to a false DUI arrest, DUI expert witness William Pelarenos sat down with me to walk me through one telltale sign of a possible false DUI arrest.
Now, to be clear the signal described by Bill is not an absolute diagnosis of a false DUI arrest. Bill explains that when we see what he describes it should set off alarm bells in our head.
We should dig a little deeper anytime we see a situation Bill describes as a …
Bill Explains that in his nearly 30 year career as a DUI officer he has only had a handful of “honest double refusal” cases.
Therefore, when we have a report documenting a “double refusal” by the officer we have to make darn sure everything is on the up and up in that case.
Bill describes a “double refusal” as those cases where the subject refuses:
- All Field Sobriety Testing & Refuses
- To Blow
…so it’s called a “double refusal” because an officer with no data to record for the field tests and the BAC sample simply marks the report with two “refusals”.
Why Are They A Problem?
The point, is that it is quite rare to see a report with a “double refusal.”
So, when you get one on your desk the task needs to immediately become one of identifying it as legitimate or “funny“.
An officer, who was quick to arrest without first establishing probable cause will have no data to report. Therefore, this officer is likely to mark the report as a “double refusal” even though the accused was never actually offered an opportunity to provide the DUI data in question.
If your research reveals that a specific officer has a knack for finding “double refusal” cases then you really have to play close attention to your client’s story.
There is likely really something fishy going on.
Won’t Be Easy
Spotting this case is just the beginning.
No judge is going to throw the case out just because you are jumping up and down and screaming:
“double refusal – double refusal”.
You are going to have support your client’s story as best you can which may mean a hard battle for unrelated field reports and arrests records from the department and the specific officer involved.
That’s going to be fun, but it may be worth it in the end.