Question: The Johns Creek police officer tricked me into admitting that I had been drinking and then he arrested me for DUI and he took me to jail. I actually was drinking a little at the office. My boss likes to drink good scotch and he invited to his office to have a drink with him. One drink led to a few drinks and I had to get home to pick up the wife to go to dinner.
On my way home I was stopped by a Johns Creek cop for speeding. He told me that he could tell from looking at me that I had been drinking. Then I admitted that I had a few with my boss at work.
I took all his DUI tests but I do have a bad back from an accident when I was in the Army so I didn't do that well on the tests. I finally took a breath test and it was .138.
I don't think I'd have done anything but he tricked me by saying that he was trained to spot drunk drivers and I looked like I had been drinking. The more I thought about what he did the more I think he just said that to trick me to admit to drinking.
Can a police officer trick people into saying things? I think they should be honest and they should not use tricks to get people to admit things.
E.W. in Johns Creek, Georgia
Answer: Police officers routinely use trick questions when investigating DUI and other potential crimes. The United States Supreme Court, in Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969), held that the police are allowed by use deception when questioning a suspect. The courts have upheld questioning by police officers that may include false statements, trickery and deceitfulness. In fact, many “big cases” have utilized such techniques.
Of course, just by looking at someone it is impossible to tell that he or she is DUI. Many manifestations of potential drunken driving, including bloodshot and watery eyes, can be attributable to many other causes, such as allergies. As seasoned DUI lawyers, we counsel clients that it is best not say too much when stopped by the police.
If you have a question, email them to us with some supporting facts (the more details you provide, the more specific our response) and we'll do our best to answer it quickly.
Our experience as a former Magistrate Judge, Assistant attorney General and Senior Assistant County Attorney allows us to get the best possible outcomes for our clients. We handle cases throughout the Atlanta metro area and North Georgia.