Having recently posted about the important points of the way Arizona approaches BAC testing, I thought I’d use this opportunity to go over another often misunderstood element of DUI arrest – the police report.

Can you request your police report?

Yes. Most of the time, your attorney will be able to get it more quickly and easier than you could but there are ways to get it yourself. If you’ve been arrested for DUI and plan to contest it in court (or are even considering doing so), one of the first things you should do is request the police report filled out and submitted by the arresting officer.

What should your police report tell you?

This report should contain many of the details regarding your arrest. There will be a narrative style account of the events as written by the arresting officer, and may include the results of any tests used or administered to ascertain your BAC (blood alcohol concentration). This section should also indicate the type of test, such as a field sobriety test, breathalyzer, blood or urine test. In short, your report should paint a fairly clear picture of the things that are going to be presented by the prosecution.

Read your report carefully

After reviewing your police report, take the following into consideration:

● Is there a reason to believe that the results of your BAC testing are invalid? Field sobriety tests are only used to give the police a clearer picture of whether you may be intoxicated. They are subjective tests and basically junk science. The BAC test with quantifiable data must be administered either by a breath test (breathalyzer), blood test or urine test. However, none of these tests are even close to as accurate as television shows suggest, and all should be viewed skeptically.

● Was there more than one officer present for your arrest? Do the individual officer’s accounts conflict in any way? Officers are unfortunately trained to embellish. We often see multiple officers embellishments contradicting each other.

● Does the story presented differ from the actual events? If so, were any witnesses present that could corroborate your version of the events? Are they included in the report?

All of this considered, it is easy to see that the information contained in your police report can make or break your case. And furthermore, any attorney who represents you should take the time to make sure that this report is obtained and go over the contents with you carefully to ensure that your rights aren’t being trampled.