One of the most important aspects of law enforcement in Colorado and throughout the country is maintaining safe roads for drivers and passengers alike. Sadly, some police officers do not act ethically during drunk driving stops and may use methods that violate the rights of private individuals. Broadly speaking, law enforcement officers may not break the law in order to uphold the law.
If you recently received drunk driving charges after a traffic stop, it is important to understand your rights and identify any violations of those rights that occurred during your interaction. Building a strong legal defense helps ensure that your rights remain secure while you fight your charges and helps keep those rights protected for all individuals. The sooner that you begin building your defense, the more time that you have to use the strength of the law to keep your rights safe.
Police conduct during a traffic stop
In many instances, drivers receive drunk driving charges after an improper sobriety test. This may take many forms, so it is vital for you to examine your traffic stop closely to identify any improper actions or omissions by your arresting officer. These may include:
- Failing to properly instruct a driver about a sobriety test
- Performing a sobriety test in an unacceptable environment, such as a straight-line walk on soft ground or badly broken pavement
- Failing to properly calibrate or maintain Breathalyzer device used in a sobriety test
- Failing to properly operate a Breathalyzer device used in a sobriety test
If your arresting officer did not properly administer your sobriety test, they undermined the validity of your test results. You may have grounds to challenge those results.
Physical violations by police
In some instances, private individuals suffer physical harm and mistreatment during a drunk driving stop. While police must sometimes use physical force during an interaction, wearing a badge is not a license to physically harm suspects.
When police violate private individuals physically, they may also violate their Constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as laid out in the fourth amendment. If you suffered physical harm during your interaction with your arresting officer, it is important to examine this experience for violations of your constitutional rights.
Building your defense takes time and effort, and you must make this a top priority to avoid missing important defensive opportunities. As you gather your own evidence and review the evidence against you, be sure to use high-quality legal resources and guidance to keep your rights and best interests protected.