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Los Angeles DUI And 911 Calls

  • May 25, 2017

    Many DUI cases start when a 911 call is placed to request for officer assistance. The caller may be reporting a collision or that there is a driver who is driving dangerously. These calls are normally recorded and a log with details regarding the caller and dispatch information are kept by law enforcement. These 911 calls form the basis of critical evidence that is used in a DUI trial.

    DUI Cases That Do Not Involve 911 Calls

    Some DUI cases do not involve 911 calls. In these types of cases, an officer asks a driver to pull over after they violate a traffic law. The officer may have reason to suspect that the driver is intoxicated if they exhibit signs of drunkenness like slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, watery and bloodshot eyes. The driver may be subjected to a few sobriety tests including being asked to give a breath sample for blood alcohol content reading. If the driver fails in these tests, or if the results of these tests are inconclusive, the officer may arrest the driver and take them to a holding cell or hospital to undergo mandatory chemical testing.

    911 Calls Regarding Collisions

    When a 911 call is placed to report a collision, an officer is dispatched to the scene of the incident. When the officer arrives at the scene of the collision, they will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident and the driver responsible. If the officer has reason to suspect the accident is related to a DUI, they shall conduct a DUI investigation. This will involve questioning the driver suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and performing field sobriety and breath tests.

    911 Calls Regarding a Suspected Drunk Driver

    In some instances, a 911 call is placed to report that there is a suspected drunk driver plying a certain route. Road signs on freeways request drivers to call the authorities if they witness any suspicious driving activity. The calling driver will normally give a description of the suspect’s vehicle and describe their driving conduct. An officer will then be dispatched to locate the vehicle and follow it to determine whether there are reasonable grounds for pulling it over. Although the caller may request to be kept anonymous, their contact information will be recorded in case it is necessary to take their statement in future. In some cases, people sound false alarms with the intention of initiating a traffic stop. In such instances, the driver can challenge the traffic stop and suppress the associated DUI evidence.

    The Application of 911 Calls

    Since 911 calls are recorded and stored at the police station, they are crucial in DUI trials. The defense can access the 911 call logs during the discovery process. Although the 911 calls will not feature during the arraignment, they may be requested for by the defense at a later stage of the trial. In cases where the prosecution refuses to hand over the 911 call logs, the defense has the option of filing a formal discover motion. This motion requests the court to have the recordings handed over to the defense.

    911 calls are one of the effective measures used by law enforcement agencies to combat drunken driving. While some of these calls are posted by false alarmists, most of them report true incidences. If you are pulled over for a DUI and arrested, it is important that you do not admit to anything before calling a Los Angeles DUI attorney. DUI cases are tricky and any miscalculated move can have your license suspended or subject you to jail time.

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