Social pressure to convict and punish those arrested for drunk driving may add even more anxiety to a traffic stop. A Minnesota driver who is arrested under suspicion of drunk driving may face an uncertain future, with heavy fines, the revocation of driving privileges and the potential for time in jail if convicted. However, no matter the circumstances, everyone accused of breaking the law has the right to defend himself or herself, and that includes those facing charges for drunk driving.
Police will begin collecting evidence to use against a driver from the moment they first decide to stop the vehicle. It is that evidence that a skilled attorney will examine, seeking the answers to the following and many other questions:
- Did police have a legitimate reason to stop the driver in the first place?
- Did officers violate the driver’s rights at any point, such as searching the vehicle without a warrant and without the driver’s permission?
- Did police follow protocol for administering field sobriety tests?
- How recent and accurate was the service and calibration of the blood-alcohol testing device?
- Did the officer know how to use the blood-alcohol testing device properly?
- Did the driver have an opportunity to speak with an attorney prior to testing at the station?
- Does the driver have any medical conditions or dietary issues that may have skewed the blood-alcohol readings?
- Was the driver allowed the opportunity to obtain their own blood / urine test in addition to the officer’s test?
While these may be common questions to ask when building a defense following most drunk driving arrests, that does not mean all charges for drunk driving are the same. Every situation has its unique elements. Additionally, a DWI / DUI involving an accident with injuries, minors in the vehicle, previous convictions or other complications may require a more complex defense strategy.