You understand that police officers have to use their judgment when it comes to stopping people at the side of the road. After all, the police have been entrusted with public safety, so it’s better to stop someone who might be drunk (and let them go on their way a few minutes late when they’re cleared) than risk an accident. But what happens if they arrest an innocent person based on misinterpretation of the evidence?
4 Ways Police Can Make a Mistaken DUI Arrest
Police are trained to look for certain indicators of drunk driving, such as smelling alcohol on a driver’s breath, slurred speech, and impaired coordination. However, many people can show “symptoms” of drunk driving due to other circumstances, including:
- Vehicle problems. Problems with a car’s steering or brakes can cause erratic driving patterns or make it difficult to stop a vehicle quickly.
- Physical problems. Bloodshot eyes may occur due to drunkenness, but can also be a side effect of allergies, crying, or simply being overtired. A person who has recently had braces or dental surgery may have slurred speech, while a lack of balance during field sobriety tests may easily be caused by poorly-fitting shoes or and underlying medical condition.
- Nervousness. Many people are afraid when they have been pulled over by police, and may mumble their answers or have difficulty answering questions simply because they are nervous. A person may also volunteer information that could be used against him while nervously chatting to police, such as that he recently left a party or had been speeding earlier.
- Presence of alcohol. Just because a driver has recently had a drink does not mean that he or she is drunk. Alcohol on the breath is only a sign of drinking, not impairment—and in many cases, the odor of alcohol may be coming from a passenger or from a spill on clothing or shoes.
If you have been charged with DUI in Virginia, you should never attempt to refute the charge without experienced legal counsel by your side. Call the Easley Law Firm today at (888) 386-3898 to have us begin investigating the facts of your case, or learn more about your rights in our free guide, The Criminal Legal Process In Virginia.