When a person fails a field sobriety or DWI test, they are generally arrested and they face charges. However, certain defenses can invalidate charges or get cases dismissed entirely. Read on to learn about defenses used by DWI defense lawyers in Burlington VT.
The observations of an arresting officer determine if an arrest is made. For instance, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes are a solid indicator of DWI. These are personal opinions, however, and they are highly questionable in the court setting.
Arrest Without Driving
This defense is commonly raised in cases where a person is pulled over when getting into a car, while parked, or after arriving at a destination. Most jurisdictions allow officers to make DWI arrests without seeing the person driving, but some do require prosecutors to prove that the person was actually in control of the vehicle.
Law enforcement officers must have cause to pull someone over; otherwise, it is an illegal stop and DWI charges can be dismissed. However, an officer pulling a driver over for another violation doesn’t need cause to inquire if the person has been drinking. All drivers can be stopped at sobriety checkpoints without the need to show case. An officer’s failure to read a driver their Miranda rights can invalidate subsequent testing in some cases.
A person has committed DWI if their BAC (blood alcohol content) is above the legal limit of .08% while driving, not at the testing time. Alcohol takes a while to work through the body; BAC may be below the legal limit when someone is pulled over, but above it if the test is given later. The more time elapses between the stop and the DWI test, the more solid this defense may be.
Improper DWI Testing
Improper use of DWI testing can completely invalidate the results of the tests. Most DWI stops involve urine, blood or breath testing, as well as field sobriety tests.
Even if a driver thinks that none of the above defenses apply, they should still check out Sawyerlegal.com. Depending on the circumstances of the case, other defenses may be available, and DWI Defense Lawyers in Burlington VT may be able to use one of those defenses to get charges dismissed.
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