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How to cross examine a police officer at a DUI trial

Cross Examination of an Officer on Blood Shot Eyes

Police officers often claim that a person’s bloodshot eyes indicated that he or she was under the influence of alcohol. An experienced Orange County DUI lawyer can successfully counter this claim by conducting a good cross-examination of the arresting officer.

Here is an example of how that cross-examination might proceed.

Attorney: Officer, you stated that at the time of the arrest, the defendant’s eyes were bloodshot, correct?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: Did you ask the defendant when he had last gotten sleep?
Officer: No.
Attorney: Officer, surely you have had times when you have had bloodshot eyes after not getting much sleep, correct?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: In fact Officer, isn’t it true that there have been many different reasons why you have had bloodshot eyes?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: And that in most of those situations, your eyes were not bloodshot because you were intoxicated?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: So isn’t it fair to say that just because a person’s eyes were bloodshot is not reason enough to conclude that a person was under the influence of alcohol?
Officer: Yes. That reason alone is perhaps not enough.

Questions along these lines can be used to persuade the jury to discredit the officer’s statements regarding bloodshot eyes. Your Orange County DUI lawyer must skillfully demonstrate that many variables, besides alcohol, may exist to cause bloodshot eyes.

The cross-examination of the arresting officer gets even better when he comes to court with bloodshot eyes himself. This is not uncommon. Officers, who normally work late nights making DUI arrests, may not get much sleep before coming to an early morning trial. Then, your Orange County DUI lawyer can weave in cross-examination questions specific to the arresting officer’s own bloodshot eyes to further drive home this point to the jury.

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence and are facing trial, do not hesitate to retain the services of a skilled and dedicated Orange County DUI lawyer. Call the law office of Chad Maddox, an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer, today at (714) 695-1500 for a free initial consultation regarding your DUI situation.