4 Defense Options for Your DWI Charges
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI, but you feel the charges are unfair, there are many defense options you can consider to help win your case or reduce your punishment if found guilty. If you would like to know more, check out these four defense options for your DWI charges.
1. No Probable Cause
An officer needs probable cause to pull you over and accuse you of driving while under the influence. Probable cause includes swerving, driving under the speed, speeding, judgment problems, etc. Once you’ve pulled over, the officer can continue looking for probable cause, including alcohol on your breath, slurring speech, difficulty rolling down window/getting out a license, slow response time, and much more.
If the officer still suspects you are driving while under the influence, they may ask you to do field sobriety tests, such as walk in a straight line or touch your finger to your nose. The officer may also ask you to take an on-the-spot breathalyzer test. If you fail the tests or refuse (which is your right), you will likely be arrested.
2. Poorly Administered Field Sobriety Tests
When done correctly, field sobriety tests can help spot people who are drunk driving. Unfortunately, because these tests are performed by humans, mistakes are often made. For example, one common test is to walk in a straight line. The officer will instruct you to walk heel-to-toe for about nine steps, turn around and walk back the nine steps.
The officer is supposed to provide a straight line for you to perform the test, but many officers may forget or simply can’t be bothered with finding a line. If this happens, you have a higher chance of messing up the test, even if you aren’t drunk. For this reason, your attorney may argue the field sobriety tests were administered incorrectly.
3. Certain Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions can make you appear drunk, so if an officer pulls you over, they may think you’ve been drinking when you’ve never had a single drink. Stroke, epilepsy, brain injuries, and anything else that affects the brain may cause you to appear drunk, especially if it causes slurred voice and slow reaction time.
Diabetes, however, is notorious for making sober people seem drunk. If you suffer from diabetes and your blood sugar drops too low, you can enter insulin shock, which may leave you confused. On the other hand, if your blood sugar suddenly spikes, not only may you appear confused, but your breath can start to smell like alcohol, making you appear highly intoxicated.
4. Improper Handling of BAC Tests
Blood alcohol content tests are important in DWI cases because they help determine exactly how drunk the driver was. However, when these are performed or handled improperly, they can cause incorrect results. An on-the-spot breathalyzer, for example, needs to be properly maintained to provide correct readings.
Blood tests are much more accurate, but they can also provide inaccurate results if stored improperly. The blood sample needs to be stored correctly or else it can start to ferment.
Naturally, the fermentation process causes the BAC to increase, which can be detrimental to your case unless you have a skilled attorney.
In some cases, you may have drunk enough to almost put you over the legal limit, but the test ends up showing that you were over the legal limit. This happens because it can take an hour or more for alcohol to fully absorb into your body, which is how you feel the effects. Therefore, if your BAC test may make it look like you were drunker than you really were.
Driving while under the influence can lead to serious consequences, but even if you aren’t over the limit or you haven’t been drinking at all, you may be accused of drunk driving. If you want to know more about DWI defenses or to get a consultation, contact us at Carl L Britt, Jr.