The police officer who arrested you must justify why he did so in court. For this reason, the police will do everything they can to make observations about you that demonstrate your intoxication. When they observe symptoms they believe show your drunkenness, they will record those observations in the police report. A good attorney will immediately request a copy of the police report and carefully examine any claim that you appeared drunk. While there are many commons signs of intoxication, there are also many legitimate explanations for those very signs that have nothing to do with drinking alcohol. The officer, however, will usually pay no attention to the alternate explanations for your appearance and immediately conclude that drinking was the basis for what you look. Your lawyer must aggressively challenge the officer’s presumptions about your appearance and provide other explanations for the way you appeared when you were arrested. Providing other reasons for your appearance will downplay any claim that you committed a DUI. The following examples are some of the things an officer will routinely list in a police report as signs of your intoxication; the observations are then followed by other non-alcohol related reasons for the very same symptoms – reasons the officer arresting you conveniently fails to consider.
Bloodshot eyes: The officer will almost always claim that a driver arrested for DUI had red or “bloodshot eyes.” If the officer notices redness in your eyes, the observation will certainly find its way into the police report. Make sure your lawyer is familiar with various legitimate justifications for your alleged “red” eyes. While excessive drinking would produce red eyes, there are many other explanations to account for such redness.
Your bloodshot eyes may have nothing to do with drinking: Perhaps your eyes are always slightly red, to begin with. After all, if the officer is claiming that drinking caused your eyes to redden, he or she should also be able to determine what condition your eyes are normally, too. Since the officer is unable to tell the court what your eyes ordinarily look like, you may be able to play down the significance of his observation. Prolonged exposure to smoky areas, like restaurants and pool halls will create redness in the eyes and may have nothing to do with alcohol. Fatigue may also explain your red and bloodshot eyes. It is not uncommon for most folks to have red and tired eyes after a long day of work and/or play. Since most arrests for drunk driving occur in the evening or early morning, it is possible that the redness in your eyes just represents a long and hard day of honest work, or an early rise to the day. Allergies, colds, air pollution, and other airborne substances to which you were exposed are other good examples of alternate reasons for red and bloodshot eyes. It is highly unlikely that the officer even considered these other explanations before prematurely concluding that your red eyes were caused by consuming alcohol. Make sure your Michigan DUI lawyer exploits this bias in the police report and thoroughly investigates whether or not the officer’s observations of your eyes caused him to draw improper conclusions when arresting you for DUI.