Law enforcement officers in Mississippi, and in every other state in the nation, have rigorous guidelines to follow when pulling over and interrogating a DUI suspect. If they fail to take any one of the many steps to legally pull someone over or administer BAC testing, this may be a valid defense to pursue the dismissal of the charges against you. Here’s what to know and how a Starkville, MS DUI attorney can assist you.
Stopping a Driver Without Probable Cause
A police officer must have probable cause when pulling a driver over on the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police may not simply stop whoever they want – say a driver has not violated any traffic laws and is only weaving marginally within their own lane. This is not enough probable cause to determine the likelihood that the driver is intoxicated.
Failure to Follow the Appropriate Steps for a Breathalyzer Test
Breathalyzer tests must be calibrated and used properly for accurate results. Law enforcement must follow certain procedures to ensure the functionality of their equipment and the reliability of the test, such as waiting a specified period of time after the suspect has eaten or drank anything to perform the test. If an officer doesn’t properly observe a suspect during this time period, it cannot be established that no food or drink was consumed while waiting to perform the test.
Failure to Follow the Appropriate Steps for Field Sobriety Testing
Field sobriety tests must also be conducted correctly and the officer performing the tests needs to be able to give clear, standard instructions to suspects. An officer risks these test results getting thrown out of court if their instructions are confusing or the suspect was not tested according to Mississippi state law.
Failure to Follow Sobriety Checkpoint Rules
There are certain rules that must be followed by officers who are operating sobriety checkpoints. For example, they must have proper signage placed and must choose vehicles to stop at random. If an officer decides they are going to stop cars driven by Black Americans, this is an illegal use of a sobriety checkpoint.
Reach out to a Starkville Criminal Defense Attorney Now
Don’t wait to get legal help with your Mississippi arrest today. Call J. Brian Kelley now for your initial consultation at (662) 324-3476.