An Ohio woman refused to comply with police demands to exit her vehicle until she got her food from a drive-thru window. At about 1:00 a.m., Police received a call that a car was weaving and drifting off the road. Officers responded and tracked the woman down at a nearby Taco Bell. The woman was in the drive-thru lane. She had sunglasses on and her speech was slurred. Officers directed the woman to get out of her car. However, she refused to comply until she got her food. The woman was subsequently arrested. When her blood was tested, she was nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol.
While we all enjoy a good story, there is nothing funny about a DUI/DWI arrest when you are the one arrested. Driving Under the Influence is a serious offense and can have serious personal, professional and legal consequences. A DUI conviction can result in large fines, substantial counseling and class requirements, your driver's license being suspended and/or jail time. If someone is seriously hurt or killed in a DUI accident or if you have two (2) or more prior convictions, you could be facing mandatory prison time and the possibility of a long prison sentence.
If you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence, there are several things you should know. First, there are three different ways the government can prove the charge of Driving Under the Influence. First, the prosecutor can attempt to show that you had a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more at the time you were driving. If using this theory, the prosecutor will most likely try to prove your blood alcohol level at the time of driving by using a combination of: (1) your blood alcohol level in a blood sample taken near the time of driving; and (2) expert testimony from a chemist, who will testify what your blood alcohol would have been at the time you were driving.
A second way the government can try to prove a charge of DUI/DWI is by establishing that you had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 on a blood or breath test taken within two (2) hours of driving. Prosecutors will try to prove DUI on this theory in much the same way as the first. These first two theories are referred to as DUI "per se" because if the government can prove the blood alcohol levels in the specific time frame, then that alone is sufficient to support a conviction on the charge.
The third way a prosecutor can try to prove a charge of DUI is to establish that the driver was actually under the influence at the time of driving. A person can be found guilty of DUI on this theory even if his or her blood alcohol level is
less than 0.08%. The prosecution will try to prove DUI on an "Under the Influence Theory" by using the police officer's observations like whether you smelled like alcohol, whether you were stumbling or stable when walking and standing, whether your eyes are glassy or watery and whether alcohol was seen on your person or in your car. These observations are usually used in conjunction with a number of field sobriety tests (FSTs). Some FST's a police officer might use are the "Walk and Turn," the "One Leg Stand" or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN).
Whether you are charged with Driving Under the Influence on one or all of these theories, it is important that you consult with a Las Vegas DUI Attorney as soon as possible. An experienced DUI lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and assist in identifying possible evidentiary issues and defenses. It is important to speak with an attorney early because, in addition to the criminal case and the criminal consequences, there are administrative DMV hearings and potential consequences that also must be considered and you must act quickly to be able to take advantage of those procedures.