Law enforcement authorities in the Montgomery area and across Alabama logged numerous DUI arrests and noted a significant reduction in fatal car accidents during the recent “Take Back Our Highways” safety campaign that ended this past July 31. As a Birmingham drunk driving defense lawyer, I commend local and state police for their efforts. At the same time, I worry that some of those 185 driving while intoxicated arrests may not have been “by the book” or based on good evidence.
The drunk driving and traffic offense crackdown, which was in effect for the last week in July, resulted in more than 16,000 tickets being issued to motorists across the state. In my experience, not every ticket, summons or arrest can stand up in a court of law. For those drivers accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, many factors can affect the veracity of the prosecution's evidence.
For instance, breathalyzer testing equipment must be maintained correctly, otherwise the results can be erroneous to the point of being meaningless during a trial. And even if the machine is working correctly, the factors affecting blood alcohol content, or BAC, can vary widely, and from one individual to the next. Don't assume that because the machine said you were legally drunk that it will stand up in court.
In fact, the prosecutor in charge of your DUI case may bring up a number of points in an effort to prove that you were operating your car or truck in an intoxicated state. Factors such as the “odor” of alcohol on the breath, erratic driving, a disheveled appearance or “acting” as if drunk, exhibiting poor field sobriety test (FST) performance, plus the results of a breath or blood alcohol (BAC) test. All of these are ways in which prosecutors try to influence the court to make a guilty judgment against you.
But what the prosecution tends not to mention and hardly ever bothers to point out is that each of these “evidence” types are ambiguous and subject to a variety of interpretation. Furthermore, they are often unreliable and result in faulty assumptions.
This is why you need to rely on an experienced Alabama DUI defense attorney. A qualified drunk driving lawyer will call into question each of these erroneous types of so-called evidence. I know my way around a courtroom and I know the way prosecutors go after alleged DUI offenders. Don't take a drunk driving arrest or summons lightly. Contact an attorney that can fight aggressively for you.
Fewer fatalities during ‘Take Back Our Highways' campaign, WAFF.com, August 4, 2009