Breath tests like breathalyzers are used by law enforcement to estimate a driver’s blood alcohol content. Refusing to submit to field sobriety or chemical testing when you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) carries administrative consequences, including a one-year license suspension. Some people would be willing to lose their license for a year if it means getting out of a DUI. Unfortunately, however, you can still be charged with - and convicted of - DUI without ever going through any formal testing. Other forms of evidence can still be used to prove that you were intoxicated. If you have been accused of a DUI, you will need a strong legal defense even if you never submitted to testing.
There are many ways for the police - and later the prosecution - to prove that a person was intoxicated. Formal tests are helpful but not necessary for a DUI charge. You can probably tell when a person you are talking to or even observing is inebriated without asking them to close their eyes and touch their nose or drawing their blood. Police officers are trained to look for other signs of drug or alcohol intoxication during the stop that can later be used to prove impairment, including:
Slurred speech - Even if you said nothing during the stop except to identify yourself and request a lawyer, an officer could later testify that your speech was slurred.
Coordination - Police can observe, and later tell the court, that you were moving in an uncoordinated manner even if you were not attempting formal sobriety tests. Simply stumbling as you step out of your vehicle can be used to suggest impairment.
Mental state - Signs of confusion or disorientation, such as being unable to remember and comply with instructions or repeating yourself will not go unnoticed.
Odors - If there is an odor of alcohol or marijuana, an officer who is trained to recognize the scent can testify that such a smell was emanating from you.
All of these signs can be quite subjective and are open to interpretation - or misinterpretation. An uncoordinated gait could be caused by footwear or slippery conditions. The smell of alcohol may be present on a driver who had a single cocktail, but is not impaired. Without an objective test, much will be left to the police officer’s subjective memory and observations. Explanations other than intoxication may exist, but will need to be presented by a skilled attorney.
If you are facing a DUI, it is important that you take the matter seriously and seek strong representation. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, is skilled in defending clients charged with DUI. Call our experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyers at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.