Police officers can arrest people after a one-on-one interaction in traffic because they suspect intoxication. They can also arrest those involved in motor vehicle collisions who fail breath tests or admit to drinking before the wreck. Such targeted enforcement efforts are responsible for many impaired driving arrests.
However, some driving under the influence (DUI) charges are the results of mass enforcement efforts, such as sobriety checkpoints or drunk driving roadblocks. If you encounter a sobriety checkpoint, you may proceed through it expecting mild inconvenience. After all, officers typically just talk to drivers to see if they seem obviously drunk. As long as you aren’t, you can go about your day.
If things don’t go your way at the checkpoint, you might end up arrested and facing criminal charges despite asserting your innocence. There are many ways in which someone could end up wrongfully accused of impaired driving, but there are two common issues that could lead to someone’s arrest for DUI at a sobriety checkpoint when they assert that they did not break the law.
One of the major issues with sobriety checkpoints is that the officers want to arrest as many drunk drivers as possible. That will affect how they view the situation as they interact with different drivers.
Confirmation bias is the technical term for the process of readily accepting information that supports someone’s beliefs and rejecting information that questions it. Police officers presented with a reasonable explanation for why you speak a certain way or perform poorly on a field sobriety test may ignore alternative explanations in favor of their own assumptions.
Testing calibration issues
It is necessary for police departments to carefully maintain their chemical breath testing devices if they hope to produce reliable results. Calibration is key to securing accurate results when testing a sample of exhaled air for certain kinds of molecules. When police officers perform numerous tests in a short amount of time, there could be calibration issues that arise with the device.
A review of the maintenance history and the recent use history for the device employed during your testing could help you build a defense strategy. Thoughtful planning to make a big difference for those hoping to fight back against pending DUI charges.