Do law enforcement coach and rehearse their testimony in an Iowa OWI (DUI) case? 

by DAC-LAW PLC


​They will say no. However, it's hard to understand what coaching and rehearsing would be if it isn't what NHTSA training manuals have instructed officers to do. That's because training manuals instruct test administrators to review their notes and organize their testimony prior to testimony, including to “mentally organize elements of offense and the evidence available to prove each element,” instead of merely conveying the facts whether they prove or disprove the charge. Be clear that police want a conviction and will skew their testimony to try to get it. They are taught to do so.

That should be appalling. Some judges instruct the jury that justice is served even if the State fails to prove its case because the case has been subjected to adversarial testing and the evidence was insufficient to prove guilt—thereby resulting in acquittal. Therefore, the jury has done its job and the State neither wins nor loses—justice is merely served by due process.

However, contrast that with the federal transportation agency and law enforcement academy training that teaches the winning strategies necessary to “mentally organize” the elements necessary to prove that the Defendant is guilty. This is a huge problem and your lawyer, whomever you hire for the job, should point this out as intentional bias and intent to skew the facts in favor of conviction with rehearsed testimony.

Officers who follow the protocol advocated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have reviewed their field notes, reviewed the “case” or “jacket” of the file, and mentally organize their testimony to “convey observations clearly and convincingly and, perhaps most egregiously, by speaking with the prosecutor beforehand to get their stories straight. There is no instruction to discuss their coached and rehearsed testimony with defense attorneys to get an alternative perspective and educate the defendant for whom protections are built into due process. By building the training infrastructure necessary to obtain convictions, the federal transportation agency has chosen a side and used your federal tax dollars to try to convict you in a state law prosecution. How does that sit with John Q. Public? Most don’t give it a second thought—until they are arrested for OWI (DUI) in Iowa.

It is your lawyer’s job to insist that the evidence is subjected to adversarial testing. There are a variety of ways to do that. If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (DUI) in the State of Iowa, contact DAC-LAW PLC at 319-389-4276 or https://www.cedarrapidsduilawyer.lawyer for a free initial consultation today. However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship. 



Coached and Rehearsed? Law enforcement training manuals instruct OWI (DUI) test administrators to review the file, organize their testimony to obtain a conviction, and discuss the case ahead of time with prosecutors. There is no such instruction to review the case with the defense. From 2006 NHTSA DWI Detection Manual p. IV-12.