A police report is designed to contain detailed information about a DWI incident, including the parties involved, the date and time, the weather, and the events as they occurred. In other words, it is the police officer’s version of events about the traffic stop, field sobriety tests, breath tests, arrest, and booking into jail.
Many police officers, however, fail to include many details or even fill out some of the spaces provided. When spaces are left blank or reports contain insufficient information about a DWI arrest, the police officer may be vulnerable to cross-examination at trial. Failure to fill out a police report correctly or fully may result in the omission of important details and show a lack of training or completion of duties. If a police officer omits a significant detail, he or she will have to provide a reason as to why it was not placed in the report. If it appears that the police officer didn’t follow proper procedures, then it may cast doubt on his or her ability to follow procedures with respect to the stop, arrest, and administrative of tests to measure intoxication and blood alcohol content (BAC).
Ideally, police reports related to DWI arrests should contain the following information:
- Observations that led to the traffic stop and the driver’s initial response when stopped
- Observations about the drivers, such as demeanor, appearance, smells, and speech
- Description of the administration of field sobriety tests and performance of those tests
- Documentation about the reasons for the arrest and the arrest procedures followed
- Reading of the implied consent notice to the driver at the appropriate time
- Administration of any breath tests on scene
- Details about how the vehicle was removed from the scene and the location of the vehicle and keys to that vehicle
- Description of the transport of the driver following the arrest, and any behaviors or statements made by the driver following his or her arrest
- Documentation of witness contact information and statements
- Documentation of any further BAC testing that occurred
- Details about the time and place of any incarceration
Missouri DWI & & Criminal Law Center, Benjamin Law Firm, P.C., can provide legal representation to you at all stages of your criminal case. We will advocate on your behalf from the very beginning of your legal matter, and we won’t stop until your case is resolved. Contact the Missouri DWI defense attorneys at Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, by calling (816) 322-8008 or by filling out the online information form located here.