Question: What role does the police report play in a Maryland DUI/DWI case?
Answer: The statement of facts, which is the police report that the officer generates at the time of the arrest, is critically important because he writes the information down fairly contemporaneously with the arrest, and then everybody will utilize that report—be it the state’s attorneys, the defense lawyer, the judge in the case—will base their analysis of the case based on that report. An officer is largely wedded to that report at the time that one goes to trial, which is about three months after a particular DUI arrest. The officer cannot stray very far from his report; he may not be able to stray from it at all. So if he writes certain things down and it’s not consistent with certain things in the report, or it’s not consistent with other parts of the report, or it’s not consistent with the defendant driver’s behavior, or it’s not accurate, this is how DUI cases can be won in court, because the officer needs to stick to that report.