If you’re charged with DUI and your case goes to trial, keep in mind that the police officer testifying against you is a professional witness. A police officer won’t be nervous in court and won’t be easily shaken by cross-examination. He or she has been questioned many times by a good driving under the influence defense lawyer. In other words, in the courtroom, you and your attorney should view the officer as a hostile adversary.
Despite this professionalism, law enforcement officers are also just like everyone else: individuals with different temperaments and levels of emotion. While an aggressive cross-examination might be the strategy your attorney uses with one officer, a tactful and polite approach might be the right strategy with another. Every California law enforcement officer differs in intelligence, experience, honesty, attitudes, and prejudices. A study by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (US DOT Report #H5-801-230) shows how these differences impact an officer’s conduct and observations in driving under the influence investigations.
Younger officers generally have a more aggressive attitude toward DUI enforcement; they make more arrests on that charge than older officers. This finding is consistent regardless of the size or location of the law enforcement agency. Another finding: police officers who drink make significantly fewer driving under the influence arrests than those who do not, and those who drink frequently make significantly fewer DUI arrests than those who drink only occasionally. Specialization in duty assignment also impacts driving under the influence enforcement. Officers assigned to traffic divisions make more DUI arrests than those assigned to general patrol duties. A suspect’s race is also a factor. Officers seem more willing to make a driving under the influence arrest when the suspect is not of their own race.
If you’re arrested for driving under the influence in California, an experienced DUI defense attorney will work hard to have your DUI charge reduced or dismissed. Should your case go to trial, a good driving under the influence defense lawyer will work to discredit the prosecution’s witnesses and fight aggressively for your acquittal. The best advice is don’t drink and drive, but if despite your best efforts, you do end up charged with DUI, it’s imperative to obtain the services of an experienced California driving under the influence defense attorney immediately.