If you are facing a drunk driving charge, then your initial thought may be whether such a criminal charge will end up ruining your future. A charge may lead to jail time and substantial fines if you are eventually convicted.
Fortunately, if you face a charge of driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in North Carolina, you have several options for defending yourself at trial. One of the most effective ways of defending yourself against this type of charge is to challenge the police officer’s observations regarding what transpired before your arrest by aggressively scrutinizing the quality of the prosecutor’s evidence.
With this common DWI defense, your attorney may assert that your blood alcohol content, or BAC, was under the legal limit when you were behind the wheel. Meanwhile, it rose between the moment of the police stop and the time of the administering of the Breathalyzer test. This may happen if you recently consumed alcohol and it has not fully absorbed into your body’s system up to the moment of your BAC test.
Blood test administration
You might argue that there was an improper administration of your blood test. Perhaps someone even tampered with it or mishandled it, meaning that the chain of custody was not sound.
Breathalyzer test administration
Your attorney might claim that the police officer during your traffic stop or at the law enforcement station did not administer your Breathalyzer test appropriately. The officer might not have received proper training, or maybe indigestion or vomiting led to the improper test administration. In addition, perhaps no one correctly maintained and calibrated the Breathalyzer for you.
Sobriety test administration
Your arrest might not be a legitimate arrest if an officer took you into custody after an improperly administered sobriety test. Your attorney may even challenge the accuracy of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, or HGN test, which happens frequently. A police officer uses this test to detect movement of the eye that usually indicates being under the influence; however, these tests (like almost all sobriety tests) are not 100 percent accurate.
Where to turn for help and support
Facing charges for DWI is far from an actual conviction. A savvy attorney with experience in this field of law can carefully study your case and determine the most appropriate defense for your circumstances. In certain cases, discrepancies and issues with the prosecution’s evidence can result in the reduction of charges or even a case being thrown out altogether.