Birmingham Memorial Day DUI Arrests Require Scrutiny

Posted by Steven Eversole | Jun 01, 2011 | 0 Comments

According to The Birmingham News, state troopers made 110 DUI arrests during the 78-hour Memorial Day weekend and issued thousands of citations for alleged traffic violations.

While many applaud state troopers for making more than 100 arrests and issuing thousands of citations, Alabama DUI Lawyers greet these arrests and citations with scepticism. That's because year after year, DUI defendants come in for consultations and the evidence against them doesn't warrant the charge. This can be particularly true during holiday enforcement periods. Birmingham DUI cases can be beaten, but it requires a defense team willing to go the extra mile.

1083566 the last drop

According to news reports, troopers investigated 294 traffic crashes, cited 3,403 drivers for speeding, 1,706 for seat belt violations and 89 for child restraint violations on top of the 110 DUI arrests. Troopers said they worked eight fatal accidents during the weekend, down one from the year before. That doesn't include activity by local law enforcement, who also stepped up patrols during the holiday weekend.

For the 110 people arrested and charged with drunk driving, it is crucial they seek counsel with an experienced Birmingham DUI attorney who can attack the evidence provided by the state.

The first step is to look at the reason for the initial traffic stop. With traffic accidents, there may not be as much to challenge, but if a driver is stopped by law enforcement while simply driving down the road, that could be an avenue to challenge in court. Police must have a reason for pulling someone over. They must justify that the driver committed some kind of traffic violation. Many times they are:

Following too closely
Swerving in and out of lanes
Not using a turn signal
Improper lane change
Running a red light or stop sign

After the traffic stop, officers will likely perform field sobriety tests, which will include the driver taking steps in a row, touching their finger to their nose and other exercises. Sometimes, those can be challenged to determine if the officer was properly trained, conducted the tests correctly or properly interpreted the driver's actions. Sometimes, officers have drivers perform tests not recognized by the courts.

Next, the officers may ask for the driver to perform a breath test, which includes blowing into a breathalyzer machine. These devices are constantly challenged and are often found to be inaccurate. Plus, the breath gives an “estimate” of the driver's blood-alcohol content, not the actual BAC, which requires a blood test to be accurate. These tests can be denied, but that results in a 90-day driver's license suspension.

These are all areas a good Alabama DUI lawyer will scrutinize with a microscope to make sure the client gets the best defense possible. Everyone is entitled to defend themselves from DUI charges, traffic citations or other types of transgressions and it's too difficult to do it alone. Trust experience.

If you or someone you know is arrested and needs to talk with a Birmingham DUI defense attorney, contact Eversole Law at 205-981-2450 for a free consultation.

About the Author

Steven Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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