police traffic stop

As highly trained and hardworking as police officers are, they aren’t exempt from human error. So what happens when these human errors threaten the freedom or infringe on the rights of citizens? This case demonstrates how snap judgments, insufficient evidence and unfair treatment can blur the line of justice and how we at Costa Law Firm work to make sure the truth is heard.

Case: Officer didn’t know how to use breath test machine

Case Summary: A man (let’s call him Joe) was pulled over and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol by Const. Kevin Driscoll. The officer requested that the man take a breath test to determine whether or not he was legally intoxicated. The breath test results were documented as E rather than E followed by a number score because the officer mistook the E to mean error. The officer insisted on six attempts at the test and charged the man for refusing to provide a breath sample. Joe was later found not guilty of these charges.

Snap Judgments: The police officer accused Joe of being intoxicated and refusing to provide him with a proper breath test sample. If the officer did not know how to operate his breath test machine to validate his assumption, how could he be so certain?

Insufficient evidence: Const. Driscoll was completely unaware as to what an E2 or an E3 meant. He was used to seeing the E0 result on his breath analysis device, but he didn’t even write E0 in his notes – he just wrote E. This rendered his notes defective. It’s crucial for police to be competent and knowledgeable about the machines that they are using if they are going to be using them to lay charges.

Unfair Treatment: As mentioned in the article, the police officer knew how to turn the machine on and off, but didn’t know how to operate it beyond that point. It seems unfair that this man’s liberty, license and criminal record were at stake with such little evidence. Not to mention substantive fines and all of the obstacles that he had to endure.

*Disclaimer:  The information provided in this article is NOT legal advice but fundamental information to be further inquired upon professionally.  You should always consult with a qualified lawyer to obtain proper advice.

For legal advice, contact Costa Law Firm.

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Evelyn Burnette
Evelyn Burnette
06:08 12 Mar 18
We have a family business and one day we found ourselves in a legal situation in which we felt completely overwhelmed and helpless. We quickly realized there’s a whole different world out there that we know nothing about. Reached out to David and he quickly wrapped himself around our case. We know he was working around the clock. In a matter of days, we had a solid argument. He is sharp, candid and a true professional. Not sure how an attorney can help a client ANY better. Absolutely no hesitation recommending him.
Julia Austerlitz
Julia Austerlitz
00:15 10 Mar 18
When I was looking for a divorce lawyer, the most important thing to me was finding someone who would be easy to communicate with. I was anticipating a nasty custody battle and the last thing I wanted was a lawyer who was hard to get a hold of or who didn’t make me feel like my case was a priority. David Costa and Robin Mann were exactly what I was looking for. They responded quickly to all of my emails, took all of my concerns very seriously and above all, is very knowledgeable about family law. This was such a difficult phase of my life and they helped me to get through to the end of it with the best possible outcome. I highly recommend this law firm.
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Ben Valencia
12:47 09 Mar 18
Mr. Costa and his wonderful assistant couldn't have been anymore professional. It's unfortunate I had to meet them under these circumstances but I wouldn't have chosen anyone different to represent me if I could. They’ve always kept me up to date on things I needed to get done and both were available when I had questions. They are first class in my book.
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Daniel Hardison
06:56 09 Mar 18
Have utilized David's services several times over the last five years. He always is quick to respond (even when he was on vacation), knows the real estate business inside out. His expertise always gives me the confidence the deal is done right.
Kate Miller
Kate Miller
20:08 13 Dec 17
Costa Law were a tremendous help in solving my legal issues. David and his team were professional, efficient, thorough and compassionate. Everyone involved capably assisted me in understanding the issues and the possible outcomes. I could not be happier with the results and would encourage anyone needing legal help to contact them. Best law group in the town. Thanks to everyone at Costa Law!!!
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