How To Deal With Drunk or Drugged Driving Charge


One of the popular driving charges is related to drunk or drugged case and it has been considered a rampant circumstance nowadays. In order to deal with the said issue, let us tackle the basic ways to deal with drunk or drugged driving charge by answering some questions.

What is the level of drunkenness or being high that serves as the basis for DUI/DWI conviction?

Before answering this question, always remember that there are two types of DUI charge in all states. These are “per se” DUI and impairment DUIA charge. With respect to “per se” DUI charge, the presentation of the prosecution must include a proof that the driver had a blood

alcohol concentration or BAC of 0.08% or more while being the driver of the vehicle. In some states, the level is .02% milligrams or more of cocaine per liter of blood to be charged with “per se” drug DUI. On the other hand, the second type is based on the effect of the drugs or alcohol consumed by the driver. Don’t forget that there are differences as to the standards of “under the influence” or “intoxicated” in many states.

What are the methods of determining the whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol as used by police officers?

There are three methods that police officers utilize to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Let us examine each method in order for us to be fully equipped with the necessary knowledge about the subject.

The first method is observations conducted by the police officers. The objective of the observation process is to identify any possible driver impairment due to consuming alcohol or drugs that may affect driving activities such as swerving or driving too slow. The police officers will also find out if the driver may pose danger while on the road after seeing that he or she smells of alcohol or has red eyes.

The second method is the field sobriety test or FSTs. The most common ways to undertake such tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, and one-leg stand. Take note that there is no compulsory requirement for the driver to do these tests and there is no formal penalty for not following the request.

The third method is called chemical testing. While being pulled over by police officers, a driver may be asked to take the breathalyzers test. There are two stages to do the same. The first one is known as the pre-arrest breath test, which is considered optional. This is the “preliminary alcohol screening” or PAS of drivers while at the roadside in order for the police officers to have an idea of the blood-alcohol level of the driver. It is less precise compared to the “evidential breath test" or EBT, the one conducted by police officers once the driver has been brought to the police station.

Is it compulsory to take the breath, blood or urine test if being pulled over by police officers due to driving under the influence?

Each state imposes “implied consent” rules that necessitate drivers that are legally apprehended for driving under the influence to participate in any DUI chemical testing upon request by the police officers. The common methods of testing are breath or blood examination. However, some police officers may request drivers to undergo urine testing. If a driver refuses to do so, it may lead to license suspension. During trial, the prosecution can inform the jury about the driver’s refusal to submit to DUI chemical testing.

Will a driver be given a chance to talk to a lawyer before deciding to undergo whether to take a breath, blood, or urine test if I'm stopped for driving under the influence?

Most states don’t allow drivers to consult a lawyer before deciding to undergo whether to take a breath, blood, or urine test if a driver was stopped for driving under the influence. However, some states implement a rule to allocate 30 minutes for the driver to call a lawyer before giving out the decision. After the 39-minute rule had passed, the police officers may proceed with the DUI chemical testing.

Is the Miranda Warnings necessary during a DUI/DWI police stop?

The Miranda Warnings are not required during a DUI/DWI police stop as long as the police officer didn’t restrict the driver of his or her freedom such as handcuffing the motorist. Simply put, the police officer can ask even incriminating questions as long as the driver isn’t been handcuffed.

If charged with drunk driving, it is essential to hire a lawyer to help me defend myself?

Hiring a qualified lawyer to help you defend yourself if you’re charged with drunk driving is necessary. Generally, it is not highly logical to represent yourself during trial. It is better to high a private attorney that this decision depends on your capacity to pay your lawyer. If you can’t afford to do so, public attorneys are still capable of helping you to defend yourself.

Are police officers allowed to conduct DUI/DWI roadblocks and sobriety checkpoints as a legal undertaking?

The general rule states that police officers must have a probable cause to believe that a driver had done something against the law leading to a request for the motorist to stop by the roadside. The exception of this rule is the sobriety checkpoints. Meaning, it is generally legal for police officers to have DUI roadblocks so that they can stop all drivers that passes by.

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Revised: Jan. 15, 2018, 1:59 p.m.
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