You have a few drinks and decided you were perfectly capable of driving home, as you’ve done many times in the past. You can create a number of scenarios based on whether you ate dinner, or how long it’s been since your last drink, but how many drinks does it take to become impaired? Not many.
There are so many factors but in court, experts practice extrapolation, taking into account complex computations to arrive at a fairly accurate estimate of your blood alcohol. While we all know it’s not smart or safe to drink and drive, what is your defense if you’re caught. According to one DUI attorney Milwaukee WI drivers have a good chance of driving away with a good excuse.
What Are Signs Of Impairment
If you are weaving, either within your lane, or between lanes, expect to be pulled over. This is the classic sign of impairment, and you need a good explanation. The best way to avoid this situation is of course, not to consume alcohol to the point that you cannot drive in a straight line. However, many drivers give reasonable explanations for their weaving that satisfied the officers concern. One of the best explanations is always problem with the tires, or having a squirrel suddenly run across the road. The least effective explanations are reaching for a cell phone, or reaching for something else within the car. Your eyes should always be on the road, so an officer will find fault with those excuses.
Also, if you are polite, have your license, insurance card, and registration, along with a good excuse, you may just be let go. Remember, once an officer has pulled you over, for any valid reason, he then will look for other evidence or signs of impairment. Impairment is an all inclusive, comprehensive term that is misunderstood by most people charged with DUI, as well as most jurors. Impairment of one’s normal faculties, or the ability to walk, talk and perform normal activities, such as driving a car must be proven. After stopping you, an officer will look at our physical condition for signs of impairment.
Even if you refuse to speak, refuse the road side tests, and refuse to blow in the breathalyzer, the offer can still gather evidence. First he will be making notes of any odor of alcohol on your breath, and grade it as strong, or faint. Next he or she will note if your eyes are bloodshot, watery or glassy. Further, the officer will make note of your speech patterns and if they are mumbled, slurred or concise.
The reason these signs of impairment are important is because they can all be argued in court. Bloodshot eyes could be the result of the overuse of contact lens, and you could be over-worked and tired, resulting in mumbled speech. The point is, with the aid of an experienced attorney, anything can be argued in court.
Should You Perform An FST?
Based on an initial observation, an officer may request you perform field sobriety tests, which will be videotaped. If you can successfully complete these tests you have a chance of being allowed to go home. But if you know you’re intoxicated, and you cannot perform the FSTs, you can refuse. You’ll definitely be arrested at this point, however, if you are intoxicated you were probably going to be arrested anyway, so why help build more evidence against you.
Mistakes happen. You believe you are not intoxicated and take a chance to drive home and on the way, you’re pulled over by the police. It’s not the end of the world because there are numerous ways to argue the particulars of the case.