Recently on our DUI forum we had a driver ask if the prosecution considers the information from the police report when they are deciding whether to charge a driver with drunk driving or whether they will just use the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) information.
Although it is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, it is possible that the state may review the police report and other evidence of the drunk driving arrest and determine they have sufficient evidence to charge you with a DUI, even if your BAC was below the illegal limit. So, to answer the question, yes, the state will consider the police report as well as your BAC chemical test to determine whether they will charge you with a DUI. So what is in the police report?
Police report Information
The DUI police report is a written arrest report of what occurred during your DUI arrest. The information, which is gathered by the arresting officer, is sent to the court, the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state and the states prosecutor’s office.
Information which is included on the DUI arrest report includes:
- Why the officer stopped you
- Information about how you performed on the field sobriety test
- Whether the officer administered the preliminary alcohol screening device and how you performed, including your blood alcohol concentration level
- First observations after the DUI stop, including why you were stopped and any physical evidence of DUI (strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, red watery eyes, slow and slurred speech, and that they were unsteady on his feet).
- The answers you provided to the police officer’s questions
- Your breath test results and the serial number of the breath machine.
How can I get a copy of my police report?
Getting a copy of your police report may not be as simple as going to the police station and requesting it. Some police departments may refuse to give it to you. If this is the case you may be able to request a copy from the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state by making a request for discovery. The DMV will then send you and your DUI lawyer the police report and evidence of your BAC test.
Your DUI lawyer may also obtain information about your DUI arrest, including lab reports and the police report, at your first DUI court date. Some jurisdictions may also provide this information before your first court date if your DUI lawyer files the right request. Getting your police report may take several weeks. Talk to a DUI lawyer about your options for obtaining it as quickly as possible.
Hiring a DUI lawyer
A good DUI lawyer can review the police report and look for inaccuracies or exaggerations. This can be more readily accomplished if there is video evidence of the arrest. Lawyers, with experience of evaluating a police report, can also spot information that is not in the report that can help a case and give you a better chance to defend yourself against a DUI charge.
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