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Checklist of important facts and legal issues

If before your first meeting with your attorney you check off the topics below that are relevant to your case and bring this list to your meeting, you are more likely to relay the important facts to your attorney and learn which issues might be helpful to your defense. The list might also help you remember the facts surrounding your arrest.

Your driving before the stop

  • Why do you think the officer pulled you over?
  • Did the officer say why he or she stopped you?
  • Were you cited for any traffic violations?
  • Are there any innocent reasons for the driving behavior that triggered the stop?
  • Do you think the officer saw you leave a bar parking lot?

The traffic stop

  • Where did you stop? Why did you choose that location?
  • What was the lighting like at that time?
  • Did you tell the officer that you had something to drink?
  • How did the officer phrase his request to get out of your car?
  • Did you have any difficulty getting out of your car?
  • Did the officer ever tell you that were free to leave?
  • Did he or she say or do anything you believe was inappropriate?
  • Did you have any passengers?
  • Did anyone witness the stop?

Field sobriety tests

  • Did the officer tell you the field tests were mandatory or threaten you in any way?
  • Did he or she ask you ask you about your health or any disabilities?
  • Did the officer explain or demonstrate the tests?
  • Which tests did you perform?
  • Where did you perform them?


  • Was your car searched, and if so, was anything found?
  • At what stage did the officer say you were under arrest?
  • Were you handcuffed?
  • Was a videotape, audiotape, or photo made during the stop?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights?
  • Did you waive your rights, or remain silent?
  • Did you ask for an attorney?

Health at time of arrest

  • Were you dieting when arrested?
  • How much had you slept in the prior two days?
  • Had you taken any medicine recently?
  • Do you have any physical disabilities?
  • Do you have any inner-ear or balance problems?
  • Have you ever suffered a head injury?
  • Do you have GERD, frequent heartburn, or COPD?
  • Do you have diabetes, or any blood or liver disease?
  • Do you have any mental health issues?

Breath test

  • Did you burp or regurgitate during the observation period?
  • How many breath samples did you provide?
  • Did you have any trouble providing a sample?
  • Did the operator interrupt your breathing pattern at any time?
  • Did the operator require you to hold your breath for any length of time before blowing?
  • Were you tested on more than one machine?
  • Other

    • How many officers were involved in the entire process?
    • Do you know any of their names?
    • Did you post bond?
    • Do you have a prior criminal history, including prior drunk driving arrests?

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Drunk Driving Library

Trial strategy
Client Testimony
Cross-examination of the arresting officer on field sobriety tests
Closing Arguments
Frequently Asked Questions
Trial Strategy
Client Testimony
Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer on Field Sobriety Tests
Closing Arguments
Frequently Asked Questions