DUI laws are meant to protect the public and should be viewed in that manner. Nonetheless, there are many overzealous police officers who reach the wrong conclusions when arresting drivers. Here is one simple tip to keep in mind if you ever have the misfortune of being stopped by a police officer after you had something alcoholic to drink.
Treat all of the police officers involved in a traffic stop with respect, even if an officer is less than respectful towards you. Obviously, police officers are people too and will often react negatively to rude behavior. For example, an officer may proceed with a full-blown DUI investigation if the odor of an alcoholic beverage is smelled, rather than writing a basic traffic ticket and letting a polite motorist on his way.
If you are eventually arrested, the police officer is going to write an investigation report that a prosecutor will reference during negotiations concerning dismissal of the DUI charge. Most likely, if an officer perceived you as being disrespectful, he or she may write a report that shades the truth or one that includes accurate but harmful information that may not have otherwise been included. Although inaccuracies in a report or bias can be used to impeach an officer at trial, the goal is to avoid a trial entirely by getting the DUI charge dismissed and moving on with your life.
Furthermore, you may encounter a prosecutor who is not willing to dismiss a DUI charge. If that is the situation, a trial may be the next step. Often, a police cruiser will have a video camera that recorded the roadside encounter. Polite behavior may go a long way with a judge and jury members, especially when the officer was disrespectful. However, if you were the rude one, the judge and jury will always take that behavior into account.
Remember, keeping calm and being respectful during a traffic stop may make the difference between spending the night in a jail cell versus spending it in your bed.