Banner for The Criminal Justice Systems: A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers and Expert Witnesses in Impaired Driving Cases

Law Enforcement Testimony

NOTE-TAKING GUIDE

Remember that you must document those actions which gave you reasonable suspicion or probable cause to justify further investigation of a suspected DWI incident. When creating a form to accomplish this you may wish to consider the following format:

Section I provides space to record basic information describing the suspect, the vehicle, the location, and the date and time the incident occurred.

Section II provides space to record brief descriptions of the vehicle in motion (Detection Phase One), including initial observation of the vehicle in operation, and observation of the stopping sequence.

Section III provides space to record brief descriptions of the personal contact with the suspect (Detection Phase Two), including observation of the driver. General observations provide space to record the suspect’s manner of speech, attitude, clothing, etc. Any physical evidence collected should also be noted in this section. It is also important to record all statements made by the defendant that relate to operation and intoxication (e.g., “I only had two beers” or “I was driving this car for the first time”).

Section IV provides space to record the results of all field sobriety tests that were administered, and the results of the preliminary breath test (PBT) if such a test was given.

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