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Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Police Radar Not Calibrated DWI Dismissed!
This is a New York DWI case (People v. Clayton) where the driver got pulled over for speeding. The cop testified that he only used radar and that he had not calibrated the unit for six months! Speeding charge dismissed and DWI Dismissed!!
What is RADAR? = A Radio Transmitter and Receiver
Sends out a signal and receives back a signal. RADAR has limitations, and there are two sources of potential problems or error:
1. The Unit itself (was it working/functioning properly)
2. The Operator (any machine is only as good as it's user)
Remember as in all Police Testing if we can't trust the process we can't trust the result!
This video highlights on big problem area: Calibration of the Unit.
There are a great many other areas of shall we say "Inquiry."
1. Vehicle Interference Error
Did they target and focus only on your car, and no other car or moving object? Was there "traffic" on the road besides your car?
2. RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) Error
Car fan blades and moving car parts (heater or air conditioning unit), also known as mechanical interference error.
Radio signals from police radio, CB, walkie talkie, cell phones, radio, and/or any other electronic device.
Poor connections with any electronics in the car or the unit can cause electrical bleeps and shorts.
Lights in or out of the car can bring on a false reading as well.
3. Calibration by Tuning Fork
The RADAR unit should be calibrated (checked for accuracy) both before and after a speeding ticket is issued. Many law enforcement officers only check the unit at the start of their shift and at the end of their shift. This does not ensure that the unit was properly working at the time of a specific ticket (driving infraction).
If the tuning forks are too hot or too cold they will not accurately calibrate the RADAR unit either.
There are a great many areas to challenge with any ticket but in particular with a speed related infractions. In New York State the standard is for the police to prove that you were speeding beyond a reasonable doubt.
Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.