Police misconduct causes judge to dismiss Aspen DUI charge

Driving while intoxicated convictions may seem simple on the surface: a driver who is pulled over by the police and fails a breath test will be charged with DUI. However, DUI cases are not always quite so black and white. Police errors, breath test inaccuracy, and improper legal proceedings are all grounds to dismiss a Palm Beach County DUI conviction, since these mistakes can violate the rights of the accused driver and even charge innocent people with crimes they did not commit.

The Colorado Deputy District Attorney recently dismissed the DUI charges placed against a Carbondale, Colorado, woman after a judge ruled that police officers pulled the woman over without reasonable suspicion. Since police officers did not follow proper protocol when stopping the motorist, the judge asserted that any evidence officers may have gathered after they pulled her over cannot be used in a court of law.

Holidays and other large celebrations often attract extra police attention. The police know that many people will enjoy a few drinks during their parties, so they increase the number of police watching for drunk drivers. A couple weeks ago, police throughout the nation increased the number of officers on duty to account for the anticipated Super Bowl parties.

According to a recent article in the Coloradoan, there were fewer drunk driving arrests in Colorado following the Super Bowl in 2011 than there were in 2010. Although there is no way of knowing whether people stayed off the roads because of the increased patrolling or simply because they were making better decisions, the end result is the same – safer roads for everyone.

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