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2021 – Report Writing in OUI Investigation Cases

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Instructional Goal:

Report writing is an extremely important aspect of any impaired driving arrest. These cases are highly technical and require very detailed reports. This class is designed to provide officers with the knowledge to assist in writing excellent impaired driving reports that can assist with obtaining court convictions.


Objectives:

  1. Understand the importance of the report in documenting the incident and proving the case later in court.
  2. Review the qualities of a good report including:
    • Organization
    • Factual
    • Objectiveness
    • Completeness
    • Proper spelling, syntax, and punctuation
  3. Understand the importance of documentation of the event including the golden rule of report writing: If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.
  4. Review OUI report writing tips from subject matter experts including:
    • Use Names and Pronouns
    • Avoid Jargon
    • Be Specific
    • Use Details and Avoid Ambiguous Pronouns
    • Avoid Conclusions by Using Facts
    • Describe Actions, Sounds, Sights
    • Use Active Voice and Avoid Using Passive Voice in Writing
    • Avoid Using Unnecessary Words When Writing
    • Avoid Improper Words
    • Use Proper Format
    • Be Objective
  5. Review the unique technical requirements of OUI reports.
    • Reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop car
    • All observations of impairment and substance use
    • Sobriety tests and results (include how they performed as well as clues, details)
    • Admissions of drinking, driving (what, where, how much, when, who, witnesses)
    • Drinks after crash (never an “accident” when drinking)
    • Probable cause to arrest
    • Proper Intoxilyzer test
    • Mandatory observation period (never leave room)
    • Inspection of mouth
    • Implied consent form
  6. Understand the importance of the video data.
    • Body Cam
    • Cruiser Cam
    • Intox Room Cam
  7. Understand the Discovery Obligations of the Officer and the Prosecutor.
  8. Review a poorly written OUI exemplar and observe the suggested corrections.
  9. Review a suggested framework for an OUI report. Including:
    • Phase One: Vehicle in Motion
    • Phase Two: Personal Contact
    • Phase Three: Pre-Arrest Screening
    • Chemical Testing
    • After Action Follow Up
  10. Review a Model OUI Report.

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Dirigo Safety is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice or consultation on private individual cases.