Motorists in Indiana could find themselves facing allegations of drunk driving after an interaction with a police officer. Sometimes, drivers encounter sobriety checkpoints that force them to stop and talk to the police. Other times, an officer pulls a specific vehicle over because they see warning signs of intoxication.
Chemical screening is also common following motor vehicle collisions that result in significant property damage or injuries to people. Someone who has been arrested for an operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge in Indiana could lose their driver’s license and may have to pay large fines in addition to being at risk of jail time, depending on their circumstances.
Frequently, motorists accused of impairment at the wheel plead guilty as though they have no other option. However, many motorists facing OWI charges could potentially win their case if they work with a legal professional to take it to trial. These are some of the common OWI strategies employed by those who want to avoid a conviction.
1. They raise questions about a traffic stop
If officers don’t follow the law, then any evidence that they gather may not be usable in criminal proceedings. For example, if a police officer conducts a traffic stop without having a reasonable justification to pull someone over in the first place, then a defense attorney might be able to push back on the inclusion of any evidence from that illegal traffic stop in the criminal proceedings. Violations of an individual’s rights can have a major impact on the best defense strategy.
2. They provide a reasonable explanation for behavior or test results
There are many health and behavioral factors that can potentially influence the accuracy of an officer’s roadside evaluation. Diabetes, a keto diet and even certain prescription medications can trigger a false positive during a chemical breath test that could lead to someone’s arrest even though they are actually sober and fully compliant with the law. Those with a medical explanation for their arrest could use their health records as part of their defense strategy.
3. They question testing accuracy
Maybe there is a gap in the maintenance records for a breath test device, which raises questions about whether it would have returned accurate results. Perhaps there is outside evidence that would help affirm that an individual was sober and therefore the test results were conclusively inaccurate. There are often questions about the validity of breath test results. Those facing OWI charges in Indiana can sometimes successfully defend themselves by highlighting issues with testing and the possibility of a false positive.
Someone’s alleged blood alcohol concentration (BAC), their prior criminal record and even their health history can influence their strongest defense strategy. Learning more about common defense tactics from a legal professional can help those who are facing OWI charges to respond appropriately to the allegations they’re facing.