Because drunk driving is a criminal offense, with lifetime implications for your driving record, you need to be aware of your rights at each stage, not just as it relates to your arrest, but also as it relates to legal proceedings. The typical issues are as follows:
- Was the “Stop” valid? There must be reasonable suspicion for the police to stop you in the first place;
- Was there ”Probable Cause” for your arrest? Did the police have probable cause to believe that drunk driving occurred, and that you were guilty of it?
- Did the police violate “Search and Seizure” rules as to the contents of your vehicle?
- Did the police violate “Search and Seizure” rules as it relates to drawing blood from you, to prove alcohol content?
- Was there proof of “intoxication”? Usually, this is not a problem, because there either is proof, or it is fabricated by the police.
- Was there proof of “Operation”? Not only must there be proof that you were intoxicated, but that you were “operating” the motor vehicle at the time of the arrest. Sometimes this is not at all an obvious matter.
- Did the police violate the “15 Minute Observation Rule”, as it relates to the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), and separately, as to the DataMaster?
- Can the police certify the proper operation of the DataMaster machine, and the qualification of the officer administering the DataMaster test?
- At time of trial, what are the evidentiary issues likely to arise?