Driving Under the Influence

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs you must not delay in hiring an attorney. There are many critical deadlines that must be adhered to in order to protect your rights and your driver's license. Anyone who drinks any amount of alcohol and drives is at risk of getting arrested for driving under the influence. Even if you are driving your vehicle flawlessly you can be stopped at a roadblock or pulled over for minor equipment violations such as a defective tag light or taillight. Many people are subjected to field sobriety tests that are difficult to perform under any circumstances and designed for you to fail. Even if you have only had a small amount of alcohol, an overzealous police officer can build a case against you. If you are unrepresented, it is unlikely that you will be able to convince a prosecutor, judge, or jury that the police made a mistake in arresting you.

10 DAY LETTER-ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION

If a driver is arrested for driving under the influence and refuses to take a breath or blood test, or if they take the test and their blood alcohol level is over .08 for drivers over the age of 21 (.02 for drivers under the age of 21; .04 for drivers operating a commercial vehicle), that person's license will be suspended unless they request an administrative hearing within 10 days of their arrest. If this suspension is the result of a refusal, the driver's license will be suspended for one year and a limited driving permit cannot be obtained under this type of suspension. This "administrative suspension" is separate from and additional to any suspension that may result from a criminal conviction for DUI. We are experienced in how to properly request these hearings and how to prevent your license from being administratively suspended but you must not wait before calling us.

FIELD SOBRIETY EVALUATIONS

If the police suspect that you are driving under the influence, they will ask you to perform several field sobriety evaluations. Your performance on these evaluations may provide the probable cause necessary for an arrest and will be used against you in court. Only three tests have been "scientifically" studied (by the government) which were designed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. These tests are the 1) walk and turn; 2) one leg stand; and 3) horizontal gaze nystagmus. For each test, police look for clues of impairment. Unfortunately, the police will not tell you what they are looking for. They will only instruct you on how to perform the test. In addition to the three previously mentioned tests, the police may also ask you to perform other evaluations such as reciting the alphabet, finger to nose, and finger dexterity. They will also ask that you provide a breath sample into a device called an alco-sensor. This device will provide a preliminary breath sample; however, the number it provides cannot be used in court in most circumstances. An officer can only state whether or not it was positive or negative for alcohol. If the police suspect that you are under the influence of drugs, they may ask you to perform additional evaluations such the Romberg test and may also take your pulse.

These field sobriety evaluations are VOLUNTARY which means you do not have to submit to them. Remember, it is the state's burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and taking these tests will only provide evidence that will be used against you.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Many people who take prescription drugs for pain or other conditions can be at risk of receiving a charge for driving under the influence of drugs. Contrary to popular belief, the fact that you have a valid prescription for a drug does not protect you from being arrested and convicted for driving under the influence. Even though your prescription bottle may say "use care when driving" this does not mean that you can't be accused of driving under the influence if the police believe that the prescription drug has impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

We will analyze the evidence in your case and fight for a dismissal or reduction of the charges. Unfortunately, challenging a driving under the influence charge sometimes means going to trial, so you need an attorney that is experienced and prepared. Beware of any attorney who tells you they can guarantee a dismissal or reduction in your case prior to examining the evidence. They are either lying to you or they just don't understand how the court system operates.