The chief executive officer of a regional medical center was recently charged with DUI after being stopped by Alabama State Troopers, the Cullman Times reports.
This is yet another example of how this charge affects the everyday person. From plumbers to millionaires, DUI in Birmingham is a charge that can catch someone by surprise and leave them with a serious legal hassle. The stigma of the charge, along with the realization that the penalties are so high, can leave many people in a bad place in their lives.
Things will move quickly once you are arrested for DUI. Police will stop your vehicle, ask you to step out, blow into a breathalyzer, take field sobriety tests and before long, you could be heading to jail. You're being asked questions and you're terribly nervous. Consulting with an experienced Alabama DUI Attorney should be the first thing you do. Ask for an attorney and don't answer any questions.
In this case, the 52-year-old hospital CEO was stopped by troopers while traveling south on Interstate 65 near exit 308. Troopers allegedly stopped him for following too closely to a vehicle. According to the news article, the man was charged with DUI and stayed in jail for a night before posting bond the next morning.
In this blog, we'll discuss the initial traffic stop that law enforcement officers make and how that can be defended in a DUI case.
Officers are constantly on patrol on our roads and highways and they are on the hunt for drivers who may be guilty of various traffic infractions. While most drivers know that not all traffic violations are going to end in citations or arrests — even some that happen right in front of officers — others will.
At night, on weekends and especially around holidays, officers take a closer look at drivers and they are at a heightened awareness that people may be drinking and driving. For that reason, they will stop vehicles for seemingly minor traffic cases in order to take a closer look and possibly begin a driving under the influence investigation.
Here are some ways police can begin a DUI investigation:
-Following too closely
-Running a red light or stop sign
-Stopping and starting suddenly
-Improper lane change
-Not wearing a seat belt
Those are only a handful of the reasons police can stop a vehicle, but once they have a reason for pulling the vehicle over — even if their real reason is because they suspect the driver is under the influence — they can begin investigating whether the person is guilty of DUI.
But even this seemingly small detail can be challenged in court. Some people may think that it doesn't matter why the officer pulled over the vehicle if they were clearly drunk while driving. But it does matter. Everything the police do in an investigation matters.
If it can be proven that the officer lacked probable cause for the initial traffic stop, the whole case can get tossed out. That's right — charges dropped and no conviction. Every step an officer takes must be well-documented and the proof must be clear-cut. Witness testimony can be important if it can be proven that the officer's observations were incorrect and the driver committed no traffic infraction before being stopped.
More Blog Entries:
Former Teacher Charged with DUI in Albertville: August 6, 2011
Hospital CEO charged with DUI, by Justin Graves and Benjamin Bullard, Cullman Times