Driving While Impaired

In September 2021, a man named Alvin Godwin drove his truck off a boulevard in Pensacola, killing a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Godwin was a retired police lieutenant. Officers at the scene believed that this was a DUI case even though the breathalyzer came out clean.

How do you document contradictory evidence like this? The answer is that you record the facts. You don’t try to explain the contradiction. Remember that you’re making a report – you’re not the judge or jury.

Here are the facts as you might write them in your report. (Note that this is not a complete report! It’s an example of how you document what you noticed and did.)

I questioned Godwin about what happened. While he was talking, I saw that he had droopy eyelids, he couldn’t stand up straight, and his speech was slow.

When I asked him to stand on one leg, he told me couldn’t do it.

I administered a breathalyzer test. The results were 0 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

I searched his pockets and found four white pills and two pill fragments.

Your agency will have a policy about how to document actions done by other criminal justice professionals – taking blood and urine samples, and testing the white pills.  The policy might be to mention them in your report, or to have those experts submit their own reports.

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