When Louisiana police officers believe you have been driving while intoxicated (DWI), they will ask you questions during a traffic stop. They may then have you exit your vehicle to perform a field sobriety test, followed by a chemical breath test.
Once the officer believes they have sufficient evidence of your impairment, they will arrest you and transport you to state facilities. Later, a judge will arraign you for a DWI charge. Many people accused of drunk driving will plead guilty because they assume there is no way to fight the charge.
Especially when someone knows they were not drunk at the time of traffic stop, they may need to consider one of these three defense strategies below, each of which could help avoid a DWI conviction.
Undermine the breath test results
If you know you did not have too much to drink or anything to drink at all, a chemical test showing that you were over the legal limit is obviously wrong. Thankfully, science is on your side.
Although many people think that breath tests are always right, there is a growing body of evidence that chemical breath tests fail frequently and may lead to innocent people facing incarceration or the loss of their licenses when they never broke the law.
Provide an alternate explanation for the evidence the state has
Many factors could influence how your behavior seems to a police officer and how you perform on a field sobriety test. Other issues could influence a chemical breath test.
Anything from anxiety to recently using an asthma inhaler could lead to you failing tests and getting arrested when you are actually innocent. If you have convincing evidence that your paleo diet or other health issues impacted your test results, that might help you avoid a conviction.
Challenge the traffic stopped itself
Sometimes, the easiest way to fight a DWI charge is to show that the officer had no reason to pull you over. If you didn’t break the law or drive in a way that made the officer suspect intoxication, like swerving all over the road or stopping for no reason, then the traffic stop that led to your arrest may have been a violation of your rights.
There are numerous possible defenses available, and an analysis of your driving record and the evidence against you can help you choose the right one for you. Defending yourself can lead to far fewer consequences than pleading guilty to a DWI charge.