Drunk driving is a serious offense in nearly every state in the US, and can take several forms from violation of traffic guidelines to placing fellow drivers in jeopardy. It can be a challenging criminal charge requiring the right kind of DUI Attorney to help present a strong case in court.
Field Sobriety Tests
In general, alcoholic beverages are easily assimilated into the bloodstream resulting in increased blood alcohol content (BAC). A high BAC limit translates to poor reaction times and diminishes the safety standard when driving or operating industrial machinery. Typically, a BAC level at or over 0.08 is taken to mean that the driver is under the influence and therefore unable to drive safely.
Also referred to as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), the first aspect of a DUI charge remains the various field sobriety tests that may be performed on drivers suspected to be under the influence of alcohol. This means that one need not necessarily have a BAC test done in order to face a criminal charge or potential arrest.
From the nystagmus gaze test that measures erratic eye movements that indicate intoxication to breathalyzer and balance scrutiny, a range of sobriety analyses may be undertaken on the spot in the event of suspected drunk driving. Aside from evidence based on such scrutiny, a conviction can even be based on such peripheral analysis such as language and demeanor or even a lack of balance or coordinated movement that signify a lowering of motor control.
A strong DWI case will involve exploration of a range of defense tactics, and a competent DUI attorney likely brings experience with a range of potential strategies to help strengthen the case should it go to trial. Proving that the case relies on insufficient evidence against the defendant is a valuable strategy and identifying legal loopholes in the police testimony is critical, especially since in most cases, the prosecution relies heavily on the driving observation records presented by the arresting officer. For instance, if the officer in charge testifies to bloodshot eyes or pupil enlargement, which seemingly point to intoxication, the defendant may be able to cite a number of unrelated causes such as lack of sleep, allergies, stress or even the side-effects of medications.
Aside from behavior observation and sobriety test defenses, a skilled attorney may also be able to prove that the results of the BAC tests were unreliable, citing a number of reasons including false positive readings and possible device malfunction. Other frequently adopted tactics include the rising BAC defense, which relies on the fact that alcohol actually assimilates into the blood quite gradually. This defense decreases the credibility of a BAC reading taken an extended period of time after being initially detained by an officer, given that the blood alcohol may well have been within limits at the time of actual driving but over the legal standard an hour later when the test was actually performed.
The successful DWI defense involves observation of a range of DWI parameters and gathering of the right kind of evidence to bolster the defendant’s stand. This makes the legal expertise of a professional crucial, so be sure to consult a qualified DUI attorney for a discussion on your defense strategy.