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Flint, Michigan

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Common Mistakes Police Make in Michigan DUI Arrests

Police cruiser with its lights activated, driving down a busy street at night.

A DUI defense attorney can identify police errors and protect your rights.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol by local police or a state trooper from the Michigan State Police, you might think you don’t have a lot of legal options.

But you might not realize that law enforcement officials sometimes make mistakes when making a DUI arrest. And when that happens, people charged with DUI may be able to have their charges dropped or dismissed.

That’s why it’s critical that you understand some of the mistakes police officers make during a DUI arrest. Below, you can learn more about some of the more common errors. And if you think a mistake occurred during your arrest, make sure you talk to an experienced Michigan DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal rights.

What mistakes do officers make during drunk driving arrests?

There are many common errors police officers and state troopers make when arresting someone for driving under the influence of alcohol in Michigan. These mistakes can make a big difference in the outcome of your legal case, resulting in a dismissal or an acquittal, in some cases.

Common DUI arrest mistakes include:

  • The police officer or state trooper did not have probable cause or reasonable legal suspicion to stop you for drunk driving. Police officers need to have a sufficient legal basis for pulling you over. They can’t simply stop drivers on a hunch.
  • The police officer made incorrect assumptions, resulting in a DUI arrest. For example, a police officer might arrest you because they claim they smelled alcohol. However, that smell could be from other things, such as alcohol spilled on your clothes, mouthwash, or denture solutions.
  • The arresting officer did not inform you of your legal rights at any time after stopping you for suspicion of DUI.
  • The police officer failed to consider a medical condition, which could mistakenly make you appear to be under the influence of alcohol.
  • The arresting police officer forced you to take a field sobriety test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), One Leg Stand (OLS), or Walk and Turn (WAT) test). Such tests are voluntary, and you have the right to refuse to take them in Michigan.
  • The police officer administered a breathalyzer test wrong, resulting in an incorrect test result.
  • The breathalyzer device was defective, which can easily result in a false positive DUI test result.
  • The arresting officer improperly stored breathalyzer test results, which can significantly affect later test results.
  • Police made mistakes when administering or storing blood or urine tests to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. If these tests are not conducted correctly, or the test samples are not stored properly (at the right temperature, in a secure location, etc.), your test results should not be used as evidence in a court of law.

These are just some mistakes local police and Michigan State Police troopers sometimes make before, during, or soon after a DUI arrest. If any of these situations occur, make sure you talk to a DUI defense lawyer right away. You may have more legal options than you realize.

Learn how a Michigan DUI defense attorney can help.

The impact of a DUI conviction in Michigan can change your life. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be fined, lose your driver’s license, and perhaps even be sentenced to time in prison. This is especially true if it’s your second or third DUI conviction.

Make sure you know your rights. Talk to an experienced Michigan DUI defense lawyer at Manley & Manley in Flint, MI. Our law firm has been fighting for the rights of people charged with driving under the influence in Michigan for years. As a result, we know Michigan’s DUI laws and what police are allowed (and not allowed) to do.

If you have been charged with DUI in Michigan, contact us and schedule a free case evaluation.

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