Passing a Breathalyzer can still result in a DUI charge

Jan 25, 2017 | drunk driving

When Ohio drivers pass a Breathalyzer test after being pulled over, they may believe that they are in the clear. However, a Breathalyzer, which measures the amount of alcohol people have in their blood, may only be one type of evidence that can be used in determining whether to proceed with DUI charges.

Other evidence that can be used against a person in court includes potential symptoms of impaired driving. For example, swerving and being unable to stay in a single lane can give authorities probable cause to stop a vehicle. Additionally, any statements that are made by motorists during the traffic stop can also be used against them. The police report may include the number of drinks people say they had. The person’s attitude during the traffic stop may also be included, especially if the person was acting hostile or excessively jovial.

Further, authorities may also administer several field sobriety tests. In many cases, this is done in order to bolster a case. This means that the police officer has often already decided to take the accused person into custody. Any evidence gathered here could be used in the event that the Breathalyzer did not support the authority’s suspicion of impairment.

Drunk driving charges can result in severe consequences if the prosecution is able to obtain a conviction. For example, people may lose their driving privileges, be sentenced to jail and be required to pay hefty fines. If the Breathalyzer evidence shows that the person was not impaired while driving, a criminal law attorney may work to have the charges dismissed, especially if the other evidence is not strong. If the authorities argue that other evidence, like field sobriety tests, show impairment, the attorney may provide evidence that the tests were not conducted correctly.