Police in every jurisdiction in Georgia and across the country write reports to detail the events and circumstances that lead to an arrest. The purpose of a police report is to support the prosecution in developing a sound case against a defendant. These reports are often key components in the prosecution of some crimes and are regularly admitted as evidence in various cases.
Although police reports are an extremely important part of many cases, they are not always accurate. This is especially true in DUI cases.
What is in the Police Report?
Investigating an individual who is suspected of drunk driving requires that police officers follow detailed procedures, which should be documented in the police report. A properly written report of a DUI arrest and investigation should contain:
- As many details as possible regarding the incident, including the officer’s observations at the initial vehicle stop
- Notes on contact with the driver, including details on his or her appearance and demeanor
- Confirmation that the suspected drunk driver was behind the wheel of the car and was in actual control of the vehicle at the time of the stop
- How the suspect exited the vehicle
- The suspect’s performance on any field sobriety tests
- Information on the arrest, including the officer’s justification for making the arrest and if and when the implied consent notice was given
The report should also include any witness statements, and information regarding the citation given to the suspected drunk driver.
Problems with the Police Reports
Errors on a police report happen more often than you may think.
It is important to remember that DUI investigations are often conducted late at night and on the side of the road. Because the officer is responsible for gathering a tremendous amount of evidence in that dark and somewhat stressful environment, errors can—and do—happen.
Challenging the Report
If you have been charged with DUI, it is imperative that your attorney thoroughly examine the police report generated at the time of your arrest to ensure that it is accurate. Any false statements or inaccuracies should be challenged in court and could help your attorney in obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. Contact us right away for a free case interview.