Though you may do your best to remain safe on the road, anyone can make a mistake. If you have one too many drinks and get behind the wheel -- or if an officer just thinks you had too many drinks -- you could end up in a serious legal predicament. Even if you do not feel intoxicated or believe that your abilities were impaired, you could still face a DUI charge if an officer feels it applicable to the situation.
Of course, law enforcement officials cannot simply charge you for drunk driving without cause. Many factors can go into determining whether a DUI charge suited your particular circumstances. You may wish to gain a better idea of what these factors are and how they could potentially play into your criminal defense.
Signs of intoxication
When it comes to determining whether you were under the influence, many elements could go into an officer's considerations. For instance, field evidence refers to the observations made by the officer before, during and after your arrest. If he or she believes certain actions led to reasonable cause for your DUI charge, that information could go into the report and serve as evidence against you. Some of that evidence could include:
- Photographs or video from the arrest
- Officer testimony regarding your driving
- Officer statements about your physical appearance or actions
- Statements made by you during the arrest
When it comes to your physical appearance, certain indicators could raise suspicions that you may be intoxicated. Some of those factors include:
- Unkempt hair and clothing
- Unshaven face
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Odor of alcohol on the body or breath
- Redness of the face
Of course, these aspects could also present themselves for other reasons and may not act as strong evidence against you.
One of the biggest forms of evidence officers tend to use in DUI cases is the blood-alcohol concentration level. A breath test may determine your BAC, and if the level reaches or exceeds .08 percent, an officer will likely charge you with DUI. Of course, even these test results could potentially be challenged in court as part of your defense.
Creating and presenting a DUI defense
If you do have DUI charges brought against you, many elements may have gone into the arrest decision, but you can also include many elements in your criminal defense. Therefore, you may wish to assess the circumstances of your arrest, review your defense options and determine what strategies may help you create and present a defense with which you feel comfortable.