DUI Evidence In Alabama Arrest
If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Alabama, you may be curious about what lies ahead—will you be convicted? Lose your license? Spend time in jail? The answers to these questions will depend primarily upon the strength of the evidence against you.
Types Of DUI Evidence
Generally speaking, the type of evidence collected in a DUI case will fall into one of two categories: observation-based evidence and chemical test results. As the name suggests, observation-based evidence consists of things like the officer’s testimony regarding your appearance and/or behavior at the time of your arrest. Meanwhile, chemical testing relies on scientific calculations that measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream—a figure known as blood alcohol content, or BAC.
The exact evidence used against you will depend primarily upon the circumstances of your arrest. In most cases, however, both types of evidence will be used. The observation-based evidence will most likely begin with the arresting officer’s statement regarding his or her reasons for stopping you. Due to Constitutional protections, the officer must prove that he or she had probable cause to pull you over—such as speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, or committing another traffic offense, for example.
Assuming the officer had a valid a reason for stopping you, he or she must then establish that he or she had a reason to suspect you were under the influence of alcohol. Typically, this evidence will be based on your behavior and appearance. If, for instance, the officer notices that your eyes are bloodshot, or that your speech is slurred, he or she can then ask you to perform a field sobriety and/or chemical test to determine your level of intoxication. It is important to know that, while field sobriety tests are entirely voluntary, you are legally required to submit to chemical testing.
If a chemical test reveals you have a BAC above the legal limit—0.08% for drivers over 21, 0.04% for commercial vehicle operators, and 0.02% for underage motorists—you will be charged with DUI, and your test results will be used as evidence against you in court. If you refuse to perform the test, you may also be arrested, and your refusal may be considered an admission of guilt when your case goes to trial.
Challenging DUI Evidence
Fortunately, for every piece of evidence collected in a DUI case, there is usually a way to challenge it. From questioning the officer’s probable cause for arresting you to proving your chemical test was administered improperly, a skilled DUI attorney can create a strong argument to support your defense and help you avoid the consequences of a drunk driving conviction.