Person Arrested and Handcuffed

Bad Cops Making DUI Arrests 

Guilfoil Law Group Oct. 14, 2022

A DUI arrest is a serious charge that needs to be handled by a professional to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the most favorable outcome. However, what if you believe you’re the victim of unwarranted DUI charges? Although it doesn’t happen all the time, there are always cases of bad cops making false arrests. If you’re one of the unlucky individuals that this happens to, you need to fight the charges. 

At the Guilfoil Law Group, I can help you understand your options and work alongside you to present your best defense in court. If you’re in the Kansas City, Missouri area or anywhere in Clay County, Platte County, or Jackson County, call me today to set up a consultation.  

Reasons for Unwarranted DUI Arrests  

Unfortunately, there will always be police officers who will make an unwarranted arrest and this usually occurs for one of two reasons. One: they may simply have a lack of training. This is seen a lot with those who are new in law enforcement and who may have had the standard required training, but lack the essential on-the-job training that’s needed to make judgment calls in real time. Another reason a false arrest may happen is if the arresting officer holds some sort of bias, either implicit or explicit. This could be a racial bias, gender bias, religious bias, or it could simply be that you were in the “wrong” part of town and the officer assumed illegal actions.  

Understanding Probable Cause  

For any arrest to be valid, the officer must have probable cause. This will vary based on the charge. Probable cause for a DUI arrest can look different based on the context. For example, if an officer pulls you over for a routine traffic stop and during the stop they notice signs of intoxication (slurred or delayed speech, the smell of alcohol, etc.), they would then have probable cause to suspect you of driving under the influence. A cop may also pull you over for bad driving such as weaving between lanes or going significantly over or under the speed limit. Other contexts when an officer would have probable cause for a DUI arrest would be if they were investigating a collision or conducting a DUI checkpoint and noticed signs of impairment. 

What Police Are Allowed to Do During a DUI Stop  

Many drivers arrested for drunk driving want to know, “What actions can an officer take when pulling me over for a DUI?” Officers are allowed to use their general observations of your conduct and what you say to inform their actions. For example, they may ask you questions about where you were and how much alcohol you’ve consumed. Even if you deny drinking, if the officer has enough second-hand information that points to intoxication, this can still count as probable cause. They are also permitted to ask you to step out of the car to perform a field sobriety test and/or take a handheld breathalyzer test. You may refuse these tests, but know that this information as well can be used against you and may result in your license being suspended. 

Work With an Experienced Attorney  

Whenever you’re facing a DUI charge—regardless of your guilt or innocence—it’s always a good idea to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Many DUI charges can be contested in court with the hopes of having the charge thrown out altogether or having your penalties significantly reduced. However, this is extremely hard to do on your own. Only a skilled attorney can use their knowledge of the law and their investigation into your specific case to build the best defense for you. Never assume that you’ll be acquitted just because you think the arrest was made unlawfully—you still need legal representation.  

Experienced Guidance When You Need It Most  

At Guilfoil Law Group in Kansas City, Missouri, I can help you with any aspect of your DUI arrest. Call me today to get started.