In a DUI (driving under the influence) case, the defendant's driving pattern is one of the key issues the prosecution will likely highlight in an attempt to secure a conviction.
Speeding, driving too slowly or drifting within one's lane are examples of driving behavior often associated with drunk driving. While this may indicate poor driving skills or even inattention, it’s not sufficient enough to prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Even sober drivers make mistakes, especially with the frequency of texting while driving. Due to a myriad of issues having nothing to do with alcohol consumption, drivers of all ages and experience levels tend to:
- Miss stop signs and turns,
- Use electronic devices while driving,
- Text while driving,
- Drive while fatigued (fall asleep at the wheel), and
- Engage in other forms of driver distraction, such as handling children in the back, reading directions, and changing stations on the radio.
If you’re charged with DUI, instead of accepting a plea bargain or pleading guilty to DUI conviction, which could lead to a suspended license, fines and imprisonment, consider the alternative – fighting your DUI charges.
A DUI attorney experienced in challenging witness testimony and physical evidence in DUI cases can offer the counsel you need. If the prosecution tries to build a case against you that includes the arresting officer's testimony regarding your driving behavior, this is one issue that could be second-guessed in court.
Poor Driving Does Not Mean DUI
If you’re facing DUI charges, the prosecutor may try to prove that you were "under the influence" by having the arresting officer testify that your driving pattern was consistent with that of a drunk or drugged driver.
This strategy may seem effective if the officer observed you speeding or weaving within your lane, but careless driving or traffic offenses do not prove you were drunk. You may be guilty of driving while distracted or even of being a bad driver, but should you face jail time for that?
Your attorney should use every possible angle to challenge your DUI. This may include cross-examining the arresting officer and getting him or her to admit that the majority of traffic violations are committed by sober drivers.
There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for a poor driving pattern, like reaching for something from the glove box or reading driving directions off a smartphone. Such information could discredit the officer's testimony and create another hole in the prosecution's case against you.
Interested in finding out about the steps an attorney can take to protect your freedom and future from a DUI conviction? Call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free consultation. We fight for drivers' rights across Orange County and are ready to serve you!