DUI cases involve abusing drugs or alcohol and driving. The root cause is most commonly drinking. However, simply being charged with a DUI does not mean guilt is clear. Police collect evidence so that you can be prosecuted in a court of law. What evidence is used?
Your driving is how the majority of DUI cases begin. An officer may become suspicious if he or she notices a car crossing lanes late at night. Or an officer might see someone pull out of a bar going very fast. Officers are trained to look for DUI offenders who swerve between lanes, run stop signs, speed up and slow down, barely avoid accidents, and more. The more damning evidence comes later.
If you can barely put two words together – especially with alcohol on your breath – an officer will obviously have some cause for the arrest. If you had not been drinking but are nervous and speak oddly, it may also lead to more tests. Right when he or she walks up to your car, the common question is “have you been drinking” and the answer is about more than a yes or no: the officer wants to hear you speak.
Field Sobriety Tests (And Little Known Facts)
Walk backwards, hold one foot in the air, count from 99 down, say the alphabet backwards—these are what field sobriety tests do. An officer is likely going to give you a breath test, but the field tests can be used as evidence in court too. Most states have no law saying you have to take field sobriety tests. Though, remember this is different than a breath or blood test, which you will be penalized for not taking.
Breath and Blood Tests
If after some tests the officer has some suspicion of drinking or abusing drugs, the breathalyser test is given. This can seem to be quite damning evidence. However, the blood test is the most accurate test of blood alcohol content. Breathalyzers, though usually accurate, are subject to user error. Even though police officers are trained in using them, errors occur. Also, breathalyzers are the same: there is no separation between man and woman, 100 pound teenager or 250 pound adult.
What You Say
“You have the right to remain silent” is legal lingo with a point. You should bite your tongue and say nothing upon arrest, guilty or not guilty. You will have your day in court. If you confess, you have just given more evidence to the prosecution.
Who can help?
You need an experienced DUI lawyer once you’ve been charged. Every piece of evidence brought against you can and should be questioned. As noted, breathalyzer tests have a history of mistakes. If you have a long record, you face serious charges. And even for first time offenders, license suspension, fines, and even jail time are common. Your lawyer is crucial in avoiding the maximum penalties, and you might be able to disprove much of the evidence and win a not guilty plea.