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Common Police Mistakes In Indiana OWI Cases


Being charged with OWI can be scary. If you are convicted of a OWI in Indiana, you could lose your driver’s license. Being convicted of a OWI could also impact future job opportunities. Some employers are unwilling to employ people with an OWI conviction on their driving or criminal record. If you’ve been arrested and charged with OWI in Indiana, you are likely wondering if there is any chance your charges could be dismissed or at least reduced. Well, if the police officer who stopped you made a mistake, it might be possible to get your OWI charges dropped or reduced. Because of this, it is crucial that you understand the common mistakes police make in OWI cases.

Below, we share some of the most common police mistakes in Indiana OWI cases;

#1: Lack of Reasonable Suspicion To Pull You Over and Test You

In Indiana, a police officer cannot pull you over and conduct a breathalyzer test on you if they don’t reasonably suspect you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If, for example, you were not speeding, disobeying traffic signals, braking frequently, swerving, or engaging in another driving behavior that may cause an officer to believe you were under the influence, your arrest and charges may be invalid.

#2: An Out-of-Uniform Or Unmarked Vehicle Stop

According to Ind. Code Section 9-30-2-2, a law enforcement officer cannot pull you over if they are not wearing their uniform and a badge or operating a vehicle that is marked as a police vehicle. If the officer that stopped you was not wearing a uniform or in a marked police vehicle, the evidence they have against you could be thrown out. However, it is crucial to note that there may be issues about what constitutes a uniform or a ‘marked vehicle.’ It’s best to consult with an attorney.

#3: Errors With the BAC Test               

A BAC test measures the amount of alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream. If there was a problem with the BAC test, your OWI charges could be dropped or reduced. For example, there can be inaccuracies with a BAC test if the breathalyzer device is not calibrated correctly. There could also be problems with the test results if the police officer who conducted the test is not properly trained and certified to operate the breathalyzer device.

#4: Errors With the Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests help police officers to assess a motorist’s impairment. According to the NHTSA, there are three standardized tests police officers can use to determine if a driver is drunk or impaired; walk and turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. These tests assess coordination, balance, and a motorist’s ability to focus on multiple tasks. However, for a field sobriety test to give accurate results, the test must be administered properly. Also, a driver’s responses must be interpreted appropriately. For example, perhaps you could not walk in a straight line because you have an injury.

Contact an Indianapolis DUI & OWI Lawyer

If you’re facing DUI/OWI charges in Indiana, contact a qualified Indianapolis DUI & OWI lawyer at Rigney Law LLC today for legal help.


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