Do You Know How to Challenge a Drinking and Driving Charge?

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Have you ever made the mistake of drinking and driving? State DUI laws are fairly similar, although the actual legal term may differ from state to state. Ohio, for example, refers to it as operating a vehicle under the influence, or OVI.

Being pulled over may seem like a cut and dried affair. Criminal defense firms know what you don’t, though: finding a good attorney can help you through a complicated and demoralizing event. There are multiple factors that result in a conviction, and steps you can take to minimize the negative effects if you are convicted.

A police officer must have just cause to pull a vehicle over. In the case of operating under the influence, there are a few suspicious things they look for. Criminal defense firms insist upon clear evidence of just cause, such as swerving; running a red light or stop sign; or if a third party provides witness that the driver was exhibiting known signs of excessive inebriation.

If there is evidence of this type of driving and you are pulled over, there are two ways that you might be found guilty of drinking and driving. Firstly, if you are under 21 years old and blow a 0.02 blood alcohol content in Ohio, you automatically are considered guilty of an OVI. You are also assumed to be under the influence if you are pulled over with just cause and decline to take an alcohol test. Ohio calls this implied consent.

A BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 does not necessarily mean the OVI conviction is a done deal. A good criminal defense firm knows to double check the details of your arrest. The reason why is that an alcohol test, whether in the form of a breathalyzer, blood or urine test, it must be performed perfectly. An incorrectly administered test means the case could potentially be thrown out due to a problem with the evidence.

While it would be preferable to never get behind the wheel of a vehicle after a couple of drinks, it does happen. Often times the guilty party is unaware that their BAC is over the legal limit until a test is administered. If it does happen to you, do find a good lawyer.

The truth is that there is some leeway in drunk driving cases. Variables such as: is it your first offense? Was the test, whether blood, urine, or breathalyzer, properly administered? Did the arresting police officer have just cause to pull you over? These questions may mean the difference between a conviction or a warning.

If there is nothing that can be done and you are convicted, see if there are options available to you to minimize the damage. Perhaps there is a class you can take, or device you can install in your car. The goal is to get back on your feet so that you, and your driving record, can put the incident well in the past.

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