If one is arrested and charged with drunk driving, the state may bring a case. It is in one’s best interest to know what to expect from the prosecution to defend themselves.
In DUI cases, the observations of the officer who pulled one over are a critical part of the prosecution’s case. For example, one New York woman was recently charged with drunk driving when an officer alleged that she was swerving back and forth. Allegedly, the officer smelled alcohol on the woman’s breath.
If the officer believes that one is under the influence, they may ask them to take a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test often includes one or more of the following tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test which requires one to follow a slowly moving object with their eyes, the one-leg stand test where one stand on one leg for 30 seconds and the walk-and-turn test where one is required to walk in a straight line and turn and walk back. The officer will observe behavior during these tests and if they determine that one fails, they will likely be taken into custody. The woman in this case apparently failed her test and was taken into custody.
During the traffic stop, the officer may also require one to take some form of blood alcohol content (BAC) test. This may include a breathalyzer or a blood test. If one refuses to submit to the test, their license may automatically be suspended. The woman, in this case, refused to submit to a BAC test and was released on bail. She will appear in court soon.
The prosecution will build a case against the accused based on officer observations, blood alcohol content test results, witness testimony and past criminal/DUI record. The defense attorney will work together to show the court that the officer behaved inappropriately during the traffic stop or improperly administered the BAC test, thereby rendering the results invalid. Talk to the attorney to come up with more ways to defend against the charges.
Source: New Canaan News, “NY woman charged with drunk driving,” Erin Kayata, Oct. 10, 2017