Can I be charged with a DUI even if my breath or blood was not tested?
DUI laws may differ depending on which state the arrest occurred in. State laws surrounding driving under the influence can vary significantly from one state to the other. However, generally, a suspect can be arrested, prosecuted, and even convicted for a DUI despite the fact that the arresting officers do not have any evidence in terms of a breathalyzer test or a blood test.
There are different reasons as to why this evidence could not be acquired say leading DUI lawyers from Manteo, NC. Here are some of these reasons:
Refusal by defendant
A law enforcement officer can only subject a suspect to sobriety testing either with the defendant’s consent or with a search warrant. However, when there isn’t a search warrant then the defendant may well refuse to be subjected to any sobriety tests.
In some states like North Carolina, known as implied consent states, a refusal of such sorts can result in the immediate suspension of the suspect’s driving license. In these states, anyone who is issued a drivers permit is done so only after signing a release as a part of which it is declared that they provide permission to be tested for sobriety if reasonable suspicion exists they are driving drunk.
Breathalyzer machines need to be well pre-calibrated. They are sensitive instruments and sometimes fail unexpectedly. When failure or malfunction happens then understandably there will be no results.
Now if you want to see a failure or a malfunction you can check out the 1986 Challenger Explosion which cost many lives, including Christa McAuliffe who was a fantastic teacher. NASA made a serious mistake here in that they took off when it was too cold. This caused some small but necessary parts to fail. Now if a breathalyzer machine fails it will not be this horrific but it is disappointing since someone who is drunk driving could be let go and someone who was not driving drunk could be accused of doing exactly that.
Evidence ruled inadmissible during trial
A North Carolina DUI attorney may be able to successfully invalidate breathalyzer test results or field sobriety test results in trial by putting up a viable argument against it.
For example, a legal professional could bring up the point that his client was only marginally over the legal limit as per the breathalyzer test results and therefore the result should be dismissed because breathalyzer machines have been scientifically proven to measure breath alcohol and not blood alcohol. Furthermore, these machines need meticulous calibration prior to usage.
In such instances, the evidence may be thrown out and the judge will not consider these while making the verdict, point out legal professionals.
Likewise, there are several other circumstances where the results may be unavailable to prosecutors. This will certainly make it challenging for them to be able to successfully convict a suspect, but it is still very much possible.
Prosecutors are trained and know how to prove inebriation despite the lack of such crucial evidence say DUI lawyers. They may use witness testimony, results of field sobriety tests, arresting officer’s testimony, and so on in order to convince the judge or jury that the suspect was in fact driving while under the influence.
If you are faced with a DUI charge then you need to act quickly in order to ensure that it does not become a DUI conviction which can have severe implications. Talk to a Manteo DUI lawyer today to get working on your defense.