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Legal Defenses to Police Observation

How can DWI defense attorneys refute police evidence?

The St. Louis DWI lawyers at Millikan Wright, LLC have extensive experience in DWI cases. As former police officers, they know firsthand the steps required by law in making a drunk driving case. They also know the short cuts and mistakes that police officers can make.

Nearly all drunk driving cases include the observations of the arresting police officer as part of the DWI evidence (defendant statement, field sobriety test, portable breath test, BAC test). These observations usually form the probable cause needed to stop and detain a person for a DWI investigation. In the majority of drunk driving cases, the officer observes erratic driving and/or a traffic violation.

When you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you need to be able to rely on your defense. With over 50 years of combined experience, you can be confident that the St. Louis defense lawyers are here when you need it. Contact our office to get started!

What do police look for during a St. Louis DWI stop?

When investigating a possible DWI case, police officers look for a variety of possible indicators of intoxication, including:

  • order of consumed alcohol
  • alcoholic beverage containers
  • slurred speech
  • watery eyes, flushed face
  • inability to speak coherently
  • inability to perform field sobriety tests
  • difficulty maintaining balance
  • difficulty staying focused on simple tasks (producing driver´s license, etc.)

The issue with these observations is, again, they are very subjective. Many of these physical conditions are indicative of many other possibilities, not just intoxication. Other possible causes of these physical conditions include: nervousness, exhaustion, illness (common cold, etc.) and other physical ailments.

In addition to statements made by a suspect, police officers make specific observations during field sobriety tests conducted along the roadside. The field sobriety tests are used to further indicate possible impairment if the driver is unable to perform specific physical and mental tasks.

You are NOT required by law to submit to a field sobriety test. Many police officers will attempt to pressure or scare a driver into submitting to field sobriety tests and portable breath tests. There are no consequences to refusing a field sobriety or portable breath test.

Police Statement During DWI Arrest

Often people stopped for suspicion of drunk driving will answer a police officer´s questions hoping to talk their way out of the investigation or because they don't realize their statements can be used against them later in court.

DWI lawyers understand the confusion people have regarding "Miranda" and the use of statements against them. Some people mistakenly believe statements made prior to a Miranda warning are not admissible in court. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Some statements made voluntarily or in the course of any investigation can be used against you regardless of the Miranda warning.

The 5th Amendment right to not incriminate yourself can be a confusing and complex area of law. The best course of action is provide as little information as possible during an investigation and politely state that you prefer to speak with an attorney before answering any further questions beyond identifying yourself.

When you meet with a DWI lawyer, be sure to tell the attorney everything that transpired including the information you provided the police officer. Our firm can help provide the best possible DWI defense case for the evidence in your case, such as police officer observations , defendant statements, field sobriety tests , portable/preliminary breath tests and BAC test results .

Hear From Our Previous Clients

"I have used Millikan Wright several times throughout the years, as well as my family, and have never been left unsatisfied. Brian Millikan has helped me through a few things and made the entire process as smooth as possible. I would recommend this firm for any needs that you may have, they are very professional and ..."
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