Start at the Beginning
Successfully fighting a drunk driving charge starts at the beginning, “Why did the Officer Pull You over in the First Place?” And secondly, when he did pull you over, what gave him “Reasonable Suspicion” or “Probable Cause” to make you submit to Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), alcohol breath tests, blood draws, or place you under arrest.
In order for an Officer to pull you over, there must have been a clear violation of the driving code.
For instance, did you fail to use a blinker when you changed lanes? Or did you fail to turn into the nearest lane when making a right turn? Or maybe another driver decided you weren’t driving like they though you should and made a 911 call about you. Often, times an Officer looks for reasons to pull you over just to smell you. Do you have alcohol on your breather and are your eyes glassy? Or does a cloud of marijuana escape your car when you opened your window as the Officer approached? And generally if you are pulled over at night, the first thing an Officer will ask you is if you had anything to drink.
An experienced Drunk Driving attorney will question why you were pulled over in the first place
If the Officer did not have a legitimate reason, then any evidence of that stop could be inadmissible. And while the Prosecutor may not be willing to drop the matter entirely, the OWI charge could be changed to a less serious offense.
If you do get pulled over and an Officer asks if you had anything to drink, don’t answer. For instance, say, “I am on my way to wherever.” If you answer yes the Officer now has “reasonable suspicion” to ask you to step out of your car and perform FSTs, Field Sobriety Tests.
If you have had a beer before you got into your car, try to minimize the likelihood the chances the Officer will have to smell your breath. That means don’t open your window as wide as it will go, fumble around getting your license and insurance papers, and keep words like “Hi”, (big exhale), to a minimum.
Besides issues related to the initial stop, other defenses include challenging the DataMaster results and questioning whether proper procedures were followed. Calibration and maintenance history can also be examined to determine the accuracy and validity of the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) results.
While Drunk Driving tickets are generally considered “policy” cases, meaning the Prosecutor rarely if ever dismisses or lowers the charge, a Prosecutor can be “convinced” to lower the charge if they feel the Defense has found reasons the case isn’t going to be a “slam-dunk”. That’s why an experienced and aggressive Drunk Driving Attorney on your side, is a must.
Whether it is representation in a legal matter or just some legal advice, Schmierlaw can help. We specialize in Criminal and Drunk Driving Defense and can help you with any sort of legal issue which may arise including Felonies or Misdemeanors, Drunk Driving, Traffic Tickets, Juvenile Offenses, or any other legal concern which you may have.
Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC
2222 Attard Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Tel: (248) 705-3742 FAX: (248) 540-0044 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org