What is a DUI?
Serious penalties may be implemented if you are caught while driving under the influence, also known as a DUI. This can also be referred to as driving while intoxicated, or "DWI". If you have been arrested for a DUI, you will need to speak with an attorney about the potential available defenses in order to fight the charge. If you have a viable defense, you may be able to persuade the prosecution in your favor to drop or reduce the charges, prevent having your license suspended or revoked, or win an acquittal in your trial.
What must be proved by the Prosecution for a DUI Conviction? In a DUI case, the prosecution must prove the defendant, or the person being charged, did the following: 1. Drove a vehicle (a car, truck, motorcycle, moped, and even a bicycle can be considered a vehicle), and 2. Was "under the influence" of drugs or alcohol causing impairment, or having had a prohibited or illegal level of either in their body. Often, DUI defenses will target one or both of these two components because both must be proven by the prosecution in order to get a conviction.
Defenses related to "Driving" in Nevada It is possible to get a DUI without actually Driving in the state of Nevada. In Nevada, a person cannot be in "actual physical control" of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or more.
Implied Consent and Refusing a Breath or Blood Test in Nevada Nevada has an "implied consent" law requiring that all drivers lawfully arrested for driving under the influence need to take a breath, blood, or urine test. Drivers who refuse will generally lose their license for one year on a first offense and three years on a second or subsequent offense. For the purpose of determining what is considered a second or subsequent refusal, prior DUI convictions, refusals, and failed BAC test of .08% or greater within seven years prior are counted. Challenging Chemical Test Results Because it's illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or more, chemical test results alone can prove the intoxication component a DUI charge. When challenging the drug or alcohol-related test results, suggesting that the results are unreliable because of some sort of "flaw" in the testing procedure occurred or claim that an inaccurate measurement was taken of the amount of drugs or alcohol at the actual time of driving. Defenses related to chemical test results will probably require the testimony of an expert witness.
Challenging the Officer's Testimony Regarding Your Behavior For proving a DUI based on actual physical impairment, the observations of the arresting officer can play an important part of the prosecution's case. An officer's observations of impairment might include: - poor performance during an FST (field sobriety test) - the smell of alcohol - poor driving - odd or bizarre behavior - slurred speech patterns, and - bloodshot eyes. In order to beat a DUI charge, the significance of an officer's observations may need to be challenged by the defense. Depending on the circumstances, it can be difficult to convince the jurors that an officer's conclusions about a driver's intoxication were incorrect. While we have discussed some basic information about potential DUI defenses, there may be other defenses available in a DUI case. There is also no substitute for the help of a knowledgeable attorney. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Nevada, and have questions in regards to or would like representation for a DUI case, you can schedule a Free Consultation with Joe Dragon.