Strategies To Combat A Drunk Driving Charge

Drunk driving can lead to penalties that have long-lasting consequences. If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, it can be an incredibly stressful experience — but understanding the available strategies to challenge it may help equip you for navigating such a situation.

This article covers various strategies for defending against a drunk driving charge.

Proving Faulty Field Sobriety Tests

Proving faulty field sobriety tests is a common and effective strategy used to combat a drunk driving charge. Field sobriety tests are typically conducted roadside and include a series of physical and cognitive tasks an officer uses to determine if a driver is impaired. But these tests can be subjective and are not always accurate.

For instance, the officer may instruct you to perform the 'walk-and-turn' test, where you're asked to take a couple of steps. You walk heel-to-toe, along a straight line, turn on one foot and return in the same manner. But several factors may affect your performance, such as uneven terrain, poor lighting, inappropriate footwear, or even certain medical conditions.

A good example of proving a faulty field sobriety test might involve the 'one-leg stand' test. This test requires the suspect to stand with one foot off the ground and count aloud until instructed to put the foot down. It is meant to measure balance and attention, which could be impaired due to alcohol consumption.

However, factors like age, weight, physical disability, or even nervousness could influence the outcome of this test. If you have a prior injury or condition that affects your balance, you could easily fail this test, even if you are sober.

Showing a Lack of Probable Cause

Another option for fighting a drunk driving charge is to show that the officer did not have probable cause to make an arrest. Probable cause requires reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. Generally, this means the officer should have witnessed some kind of dangerous or erratic driving behavior on your part before pulling you over.

If the officer did not observe any signs of reckless driving and simply pulled you over on a hunch that you were drunk, then there would be no probable cause for the arrest.

Your lawyer can help you assess the facts of your case and determine if any evidence can be used to challenge the officer's probable cause. And if there's anything that can be questioned, your lawyer could argue that the arrest was not valid and any evidence collected as a result should be inadmissible in court.

Reach out to a local drunk driving lawyer for more info.